A recent study on sex selective abortions, which will be released soon in the medical journal, Lancet, states that female foeticide, which was limited to only few parts of the country, has now spread to most of the parts in the country, making it a national epidemic.
Highlights of the study
According to the various statistics provided by the study, it is seen that, 4.2 to 12.1 million female foetuses were aborted in India between 1980 and 2010. The number of women, who were pregnant with female foetus last year, was ranging in between 13.3 to 13.7 million. Of them 3 to 6 million went for abortion. According to the census 2011, there are 7.1 million fewer girls than boys aged 0-6 years. The sex ratio for subsequent female births after a first born girl in 2005 was 836. It was 906 in 1990. This ratio did not change in case of first born boy.
Surprisingly, the reports stated that, mothers who have 10 or more years of education went for such sex selective abortions, than mothers with no education. The same was the case in richer households and in urban areas. This is because the educated mothers were more aware of the ultrasound and abortion services and can afford them easily than poor or uneducated mothers.
The population living in the states where the child sex ratios were below 915, changed drastically. The population rose from 10% in 1991 to 27% in 2001 and to 56% in 2011. This shift indicates that most of the India’s population now lives in the states where selective abortion of girls is common.
Finally, this increasing trend on female foeticide can be attributed to failure in making the law of the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1996, effective. This Act aims to prevent the misuse of techniques for the purpose of prenatal sex determination.
Source: The Indian Express