Advertisement

Coping with Sex-Selective Abortions in Vietnam: An Ethnographic Study of Selective Reproduction as Emotional Experience

  • Trần Minh Hằng
Chapter

Abstract

Adopting a processual and phenomenological approach, this chapter explores the thoughts and feelings of people who undertake sex-selective abortions: what drives them to undergo the abortions and how are abortions experienced? The data was collected between January and December 2009 in an obstetric hospital in Hanoi, Vietnam. The abortion-seeking women had a number of conflicting feelings, going through emotions of guilt, distress, sorrow and relief. Keeping their abortions a secret, the women often received little support from their family, their community and the health care system.

Keywords

Sex-selective abortion Selective reproduction Emotional experiences Vietnam 

References

  1. Adler, N.E., H.P. David, B.N. Major, S.H. Roth, N.F. Russo, and G.E. Wyatt. 1990. Psychological Responses After Abortion. Science 248 (4951): 41–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Andrews, J.L., and J.S. Boyle. 2003. African American Adolescents Experiences with Unplanned Pregnancy and Elective Abortion. Health Care for Women International 24: 414–433.Google Scholar
  3. Armsworth, M.W. 1991. Psychological Response to Abortion. Journal of Counseling and Development 69: 377–379.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bélanger, D. 2002. Son Preference in A Rural Village in North Vietnam. Studies in Family Planning 33: 321–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Boyle, M., and J. McEvoy. 1998. Putting Abortion in Its Social Context: Northern Irish Women’s Experiences of Abortion in England. Health 2: 283–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. David, H.P. 1992. Abortion in Europe, 1920–1991: A Public Health Perspective. Studies in Family Planning 23: 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gammeltoft, T. 2002. Between “Science” and “Superstition”: Moral Perceptions of Induced Abortion among Urban Youth in Vietnam. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry 26: 313–338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. ———. 2003. The Ritualisation of Abortion in Contemporary Vietnam. The Australian Journal of Anthropology 14 (2): 129–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. ———. (1999) 2016. Women’s Bodies, Women’s Worries: Health and Family Planning in a Vietnamese Rural Community. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  10. Gammeltoft, T., and T.T.H. Nguyen. 2007. The Commodification of Obstetric Ultrasound Scanning in Hanoi, Viet Nam. Reproductive Health Matters 15(29): 163–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gammeltoft, T., M.H. Tran, T.H. Nguyen, and T.T.H. Nguyen. 2008. Late-Term Abortion for Fetal Anomaly: Vietnamese Women’s Experiences. Reproductive Health Matters 16 (3): 46–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Goodwin, P., and J. Ogden. 2007. Women’s Reflections Upon Their Past Abortions: An Exploration of How and Why Emotional Reactions Change over Time. Psychology and Health 22 (2): 231–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gross, M. 1999. After Feticide: Coping with Late-Term Abortion in Israel, Western Europe, and the United State. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 8: 449–462.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Guilmoto, C.Z. 2007. Causes and Policy Issues of Sex Ratio at Birth in Asia and Vietnam. Workshop on Imbalance of Sex ratio at Birth in Asia Region and Vietnam, National Press Conference Centre, Hanoi, 20 December.Google Scholar
  15. Guilmoto, C.Z., X. Hoang, and V.T. Ngo. 2009. Recent Increase in Sex Ratio at Birth in Viet Nam. PLoS One 4 (2): 1–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hadley, J. 1996. Abortion: Between Freedom and Necessity. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Hoang, T.D.T., T.T. Phan, and N.K. Huynh. 2008. Second Trimester Abortion in Viet Nam: Changing to Recommended Methods and Improving Service Delivery. Reproductive Health Matters 16 (31): 145–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Johansson, A., T.L. Nguyen, T.H. Hoang, et al. 1998. Population Policy, Son Preference and the Use of IUDs in North Vietnam. Reproductive Health Matters 6 (11): 66–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Johansson, A., T.N.T. Le, T.L. Nguyen, and K. Sundstrom. 1996. Abortion in Context: Women’s Experience in Two Villages in Thai Binh Province, Vietnam. International Family Planning Perspectives 22(3): 103–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. McIntyre, M., B. Anderson, and C. McDonald. 2001. The Intersection of Relational and Cultural Narratives: Women’s Abortion Experiences. Canadian Journal of Nursing Research 33(3): 47–62.Google Scholar
  21. Ministry of Health. 2002. National Guidelines for Reproductive Health Services. Hanoi: Ministry of Health.Google Scholar
  22. Mitchell, L.M. 2001. Baby’s First Picture. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Peterman, J.P. 1996. Telling Their Stories: Puerto Rican Women and Abortion. Boulder, CO: West View.Google Scholar
  24. Pham, N.B., W. Hall, P.S. Hill, and C. Rao. 2008. Analysis of Socio-Political and Health Practices Influencing Sex Ratio at Birth in Viet Nam. Reproductive Health Matters 16 (32): 176–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Rapp, R. 1999. Testing Women, Testing the Fetus. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  26. Tran, H.M. 2005. Ultrasound Scanning for Fetal Malformation in Hanoi Obstetrical and Gynecological Hospital. Vietnam: Women’s Reproductive Decision-Making. Master thesis, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.Google Scholar
  27. ———. 2011. Global Debates, Local Dilemmas: Sex Selective Abortion in Vietnam. PhD thesis, The Australian National University, Australia.Google Scholar
  28. Trybulski, J. 2005. The Long-Term Phenomena of Women’s Post-Abortion Experiences. Western Journal of Nursing Research 27: 559–576.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund). 2009. Recent change in the Sex Ratio at Birth in Viet Nam: A Review of Evidence. Hanoi: UNFPA.Google Scholar
  30. ———. 2011. Son Preference in Vietnam: Ancient Desires, Advancing Technologies. Hanoi: UNFPA.Google Scholar
  31. Whittaker, A. 2002. Eliciting Qualitative Information about Induced Abortion: Lessons from North-East Thailand. Health Care for Women International 23: 631–641.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. ———. 2004. Abortion, Sin and the State in Thailand. New York: Routledge Curzon.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Trần Minh Hằng
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of AnthropologyHanoiVietnam

Personalised recommendations