"India Loses 10 Million Female Births"
A report dated January 9th by the BBC sheds light on a heinous practice prevalent in India. "More than 10m female births in India may have been lost to abortion and sex selection in the past 20 years, according to medical research. Researchers in India and Canada for the Lancet journal said prenatal selection and selective abortion was causing the loss of 500,000 girls a year. Their research was based on a national survey of 1.1m households in 1998. The researchers said the "girl deficit" was more common among educated women but did not vary according to religion
- "Sex selective abortions have been banned in India for more than a decade."
- "Although doctors in India must not tell couples the sex of a foetus, in practice, some just use coded signals instead, our correspondent says. "
- "Last year the well-known religious leader and social activist, Swami Agnivesh, began a campaign across five northern and western states against female foeticide. "
Ten million gender-selective abortions is an atrociously high number. According to CIA's World Factbook, India's population in July 2005 was estimated at 1,080,264,388.
- "There's no other form of violence that's more painful, more abhorrent, more shameful," he said.
While there should be no question about a woman's right to choose--voluntary abortion, women being forced to abort or women resorting to abortion under the social pressure of producing a male child is as despicable as the efforts by zealots to criminalize abortion here in the United States and the barbaric practice of genital mutilation of females (clitoral circumcision) that is followed in some Islamic countries.Paradoxically, the BBC report goes on to say: "The sex ratio is so skewed in some states, men cannot find brides."Indian men who support female foeticide are probably the ones who also insist on virgin brides when they get married. The way things are heading they will face the need to import women--if any are available and willing to marry them.