Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

India nets few convictions under law against sex-selection abortion

Catholic World News - April 20, 2011

Although sex-selection abortion is illegal in India, the ratio of baby boys to girls continues to rise, in part because convictions are rare under the law that prohibits doctors from performing sex-determination tests.

The latest statistics show only 914 girls in India under the age of 6 for every 1,000 boys-- down from 927 despite the new law banning sex-selection abortions. Officials estimate that there are 5 million girls "missing" in the last decade.

Now a federal health department report notes that while 805 doctors have been charged with violations of the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, only 55 have been convicted. As officials have stepped up enforcement, with random checks to determine whether doctors are conducting sex-determination tests, doctors have responded by using portable ultrasound machines that can be used outside the clinics, avoiding the inspections.

The prejudice for male children is deeply rooted in Hindu culture, because of the belief that one cannot attain moksha (liberation) unless a son performs his last rites, as mandated by Hindu scriptures. This religious sanction, combined with pressure for small families, has made girls unwanted. The problem is exacerbated by a dowry system that exacts high costs from the parents of a bride, making a girl a financial liability for her parents.

Because abortion is legal in India, the government has been unable to stop parents from obtaining an abortion when they learn that the unborn child is female.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our July expenses ($33,668 to go):
$35,000.00 $1,332.00
96% 4%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Vatican statement clarifies duties of Catholic faithful after Obergefell decision 16 hours ago
Political battles vs. sacrificial service: The Brooks paradox revisited 20 hours ago
A Baptist leader with a message the Synod of Bishops should hear June 30
'Helpful' advice for social conservatives: ignore causes, deal with effects June 30
In the Aftermath of Obergefell June 30

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope approves process for holding bishops accountable in abuse cases CWN - June 10
Pope Francis’ 2nd encyclical released (includes link to full text) CWN - June 18
US Supreme Court rules all states must recognize same-sex marriage CWN - June 26
Archbishop Nienstedt, auxiliary bishop resign CWN - June 15
Cardinal Kasper: Pope never approved my proposal CWN - June 4