Sex-selective abortion eliminates all girls in dozens of villages in Northern India

Out of 216 births across dozens of villages in northern India over the last 3 months, not a single girl was born, recent data has revealed.

An investigation is currently underway as to why not a single girl was born in 132 villages across the Uttarkashi district, in Uttarakhand state in northern Indian over a three month period. India already has a imbalanced sex ratio with significantly less girls being born than boys.

Census data from 2011 showed there were 914 girls to every 1,000 boys for children up to the age of six, but in some northern states that ratio was as low as 850, according to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

India outlawed sex-selective abortion and pre-natal sex detection in 1994 in order to try to prevent a further sex imbalance and the associated ills which often accompany it.

Sex-selective abortion and infanticide remain common practices however due to the cultural preference for male children. Dowries for girls, despite being outlawed, are often expected and expensive, and boys are expected to take the role of breadwinners for the family. In which case, many families desire a son for economic reasons.

Social worker Kalpana Thakur said that the latest statistics from Uttarkashi district showed the authorities were not doing enough.

“No girl child was born for three months in these villages. It cannot be just a coincidence. This clearly indicates female foeticide is taking place in the district. The government and the administration are not doing anything.”

A 2018 government report found about 63 million women were “missing” from the country’s population. This issue is explored in the documentary film it’s a girl.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a campaign in 2015 to try to address this problem. The campaign, called “Save the daughter, educate the daughter,” intended to enforce laws that forbid sex-selective abortion and diagnostic techniques used for female feticide.

This shocking news from India comes at the same time as an extreme abortion law is being forced on Northern Ireland which would permit sex-selective abortion in that region.

Spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Clare McCarthy said: “It is a heartbreaking reality that some baby girls are aborted because they are female however, this is not just a problem limited to remote parts of India. There is a growing body of evidence that we have a sex-selective abortion problem here in the UK.

“It’s time for the Government to stop denying there is a problem here as well and to implement a ban on sex-selective abortion in the UK.”

Legislative assembly member Gopal Rawat said: “It is shocking to have a zero girl child birth rate in 132 village of the district, as we have rarely heard of seen any incident of female foeticide in the hills.

“I have directed the health department to find out the real cause of such alarming figures and to take serious action to resolve it.”

He added authorities would also launch “a massive awareness campaign” in the hope of reversing the trend.

(Image credit AdobeStock: Pineapples)

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