Originally published on February 10, 2016 at NYPress.com

“It’s a girl,” said the doctor. “You want to get rid of it? It’ll take just three minutes.”

Lily Zhou trembled — her motherly instincts tinged with lament. “It’s my daughter, it’s a life,” she recalled thinking. “I can’t do this.”

And, according to the mother of four from Brooklyn, her experience is not an uncommon one within the city’s gynecological clinics. “Most of my friends would either go to Chinatown or Flushing for this,” she said.

Pregnant women, most of them Chinese and Indian, often go to abortion clinics for early stage fetal gender tests. If the fetus is found to be female, another procedure — abortion — sometimes also takes place, according to interviews with dozens of physicians, community leaders and Asian immigrants in Manhattan’s Chinatown, Queens’ Flushing and Jackson Heights and Brooklyn’s Sunset Park. more