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India: mother murdered for refusing to kill newborn baby girl

August 10, 2010

In yet another shocking example of the deep-rooted cultural prejudice against female children in India, a young mother who gave birth to a second girl child was murdered by her husband.

The 25-year-old woman, a resident of the Tumkur district in the southern Karnataka state, was killed by her husband on August 9 after she rejected his plan to kill the baby girl, who had been born to the couple the previous week.

The prejudice against the girl children is so deeply rooted in Indian society that analysts believe thousands of newborn girls are abandoned by their parents. The fate of such abandoned girls was dramatized yet again on August 9 when the body of a newborn girl was found floating in a plastic bag in a suburb of Bangalore, the capital of the Karnataka state.

Because of gender prejudice, the federal government has reported that more than 10 million girls are now “missing” in India because of sex-selection abortions. Although sex-selection abortion is illegal, unrestricted access to abortion makes it easy for parents to disguise their motivation for the procedure. Several pockets in India have fewer than 800 girls for every 1,000 boys under the age of 6.


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