December 10, 2022

Girls increasingly aborted in India: study

Indian families with one girl are increasingly aborting subsequent pregnancies when prenatal tests show another female will be born, according to a new study published this week.india
indiaIndian
families with one girl are increasingly aborting subsequent pregnancies when
prenatal tests show another female will be born, according to a new study
published this week. The decline in the number of female children is more
marked in better educated and richer households, according to the research
published this week in the Lancet. The numbers show that a 1996 law banning
testing for the gender of a fetus has been largely ineffective, the study said.

A
cultural preference in India
for boys is heightened by the considerable expense involved in marrying off
daughters and paying enormous dowries. Officials have acknowledged that laws
have not succeeded in narrowing the sex ratio gap.  According to the
study, between 4 million and 12 million girls are thought to have been aborted
between 1980 and 2010, with a greater rate of increase in the 1990s than the
2000s.

The
2011 census revealed 7.1 million fewer girls than boys aged under seven years,
up from 6 million in 2001 and from 4.2 million in 1991. The sex ratio in this
age group is now 915 girls to 1,000 boys, the lowest since record-keeping began
in 1961. Selective abortion is focused in families where the first child has
been a girl. Parents are glad to have a first daughter but want their second
child to be a son.

In
these families, the gender ratio for second births dropped from 906 girls per
1,000 boys in 1990 to 836 in 2005, suggesting between 3.1 million and 6 million
female fetuses have been aborted in the past decade. The market for sex
determination is said to be worth at least US$100m per year, with 40,000
registered ultrasound clinics. ~ The Lancet, May
24
; AP, May 24;
Independent, May
25

Girls increasingly aborted in India: study
Jared Yee
abortion
India
sex selection