The increasingly more widespread use of technology in India to enable mothers to know the sex of their unborn babies has led to a significant increase in the number of aborted girls, according to pro-life activists and government officials.
In India, scans and amniocentesis that reveal the sex of the baby are illegal. However, many women obtain the procedures and in many cases, upon learning that the child is female, elect to abort. According to government figures, some 10 million unborn baby girls have been killed by abortion in the last 20 years.
“Sex-selection has been the main reason when the ratio of female births in the country has decreased,” said Pravir Krishna, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health. “Technology has many benefits, but this is an aspect of technology that has given us a serious problem,” he added.
A large portion of the Indian population believes that male children enable families to survive and ensure that their parents will be taken care of. Female children are considered a burden for whom parents will have to shell out expensive dowries, which leads many to elect to abort them.
On the other hand, a 2001 census revealed that there were 927 girls for every 1000 boys among children younger than age 7, as opposed to 945 in 1991. Last month, police discovered thirty bags full of aborted and newborn babies in a well near a clinic in eastern India.