Pre­na­tal sex tests il­le­gal to stop unborn girls be­ing aborted

New Straits Times - - World -

PO­LICE said yes­ter­day they had found 19 aborted fe­male foe­tuses dumped in a sewer in Ma­ha­rash­tra state, high­light­ing the coun­try’s prob­lem of fe­male foeti­cide.

In In­dia, pre­na­tal sex tests are il­le­gal, a pol­icy de­signed to stop unborn girls be­ing aborted by par­ents des­per­ate for a boy.

But, the tests are thought to be com­mon, par­tic­u­larly in poor ru­ral ar­eas, and sex ra­tios are skewed to­wards males across In­dia.

“We have re­cov­ered 19 foe­tuses and will ar­rest the doc­tor, who is ab­scond­ing,” Ma­ha­rasthra’s San­gli dis­trict Su­per­in­ten­dent Dat­ta­tray Shinde said.

He said the foe­tuses were found on Sun­day wrapped in blue plas­tic bags in a sewer next to a clinic run by doc­tor Babasa­heb Khidra­pure in Mhaisal vil­lage.

He said of­fi­cers made the dis­cov­ery af­ter a wo­man, 26, died dur­ing a failed abor­tion at­tempt.

“The vic­tim’s hus­band, Praveen Jam­dade, has been ar­rested for pres­sur­ing her into an abor­tion.”

Par­ents and doc­tors can be jailed for up to five years for re­quest­ing or con­duct­ing a pre-na­tal sex test.

A 2011 study in the Bri­tish med­i­cal jour­nal The Lancet found that 12 mil­lion girls had been aborted in In­dia in the last 30 years.

In­dia had 940 fe­males for ev­ery 1,000 males, ac­cord­ing to the last of­fi­cial cen­sus pub­lished in 2011, up from 933 in 2001.

In San­gli, where the feo­tuses were found, there were just 867 girls per 1,000 boys.

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