‘Missing Girls’ Phenomenon: Millions Of Female Fetuses Aborted In India

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A new study is shedding light on a disturbing phenomenon in India: families choosing to abort a pregnancy based on the gender of a fetus.

Many parents in India prefer boys, as is the case in many Asian countries, in large part because of the huge expense in marrying off girls and paying elaborate dowries, and so they’re opting for sex-selective abortions. The result? Between 4 million and 12 million girls are thought to have been aborted from 1980 to 2010, according to the study, published in British medical journal The Lancet.

Women from higher-income and better-educated families were far more likely than poorer women to abort a girl, especially during a second pregnancy if the firstborn was a girl. That’s because they have easy access to ultrasound screenings and the money needed to pay for an illegal abortion.

In 1996, the country passed a law that bans testing for the gender of a fetus, though so far it’s been largely ineffective (the penalties for breaking this law are pretty insignificant).

Needless to say, this is grim news. I happen to be pro-choice, but the thought of aborting a fetus based on gender alone is simply horrifying.

(Photo: Goodshot)