The Ultrasound Abortion

An article today in BBC News suggested that the introduction of gender screening has led to increased abortion of female foetuses in India, which is feared to be around 8 million  in the last decade.

According to this article, the 1980’s saw a boom in advertising for ultrasound clinics and the state of Punjab promoted their 10 years experience of aborting girl foetuses.

India is facing one of the greatest struggles to fight against a deep seated cultural attitude towards girls. There is talk of the need of further education, the empowerment of women and the need for government to implement its laws. However, the sharpest rise of female foetus abortion is amongst the growing middle class. They are educated and can afford it. What has gone wrong?

Where dowry does not seem to be longer a financial burden on families, the reason now cited in this article, is continuing the family line. Do they not realise that without women, there will be no family line?

Thankfully, science hasn’t created mass birth banks that men just need to dump their sperm in and come back 9 months later to collect their offspring. The human female race could become an endangered species…

Whilst female foetus abortion may not be a grave issue in the UK, the attitude towards the birth of girls is still so shockingly shameful. We spoke of this same cultural attitude nearly a month ago on Oh No, It’s A Girl.

If education is not working, how do we change these attitudes?


4 Comments to “The Ultrasound Abortion”

  1. They have gotten rid of female babies in China for such a long time that tradtions are turning on their heads. There are now not enough women to marry the men and continue that family line that is so coveted by the middle and upper classes. A new tradition of paying a bride price has emerged as this is the only way some men can find a girl to settle down with. So in ten years time, will Indians want to have ten girls so that they can sell them off to the highest bidder? I don’t know what’s worse… intensive farming of women or mass killing female foetuses before they are sentient beings…

    A lost generation of men will grow old single, but instead of this being caused by artificial events such as war, it is being caused by people’s own (silly) old-fashioned beliefs.

  2. This news re falling female births is coming to light due to the Indian census results. It is sad indeed but I don’t think it will ever be eradicated. Women are just as hard on their own sex as men and want boys too.

    I have heard that in parts of Britain, people of south asian origin are less likely to be told what the sex of their unborn child is. I wonder why…

  3. It’s very sad. Unfortunately it seems governments are always late to implement anything unless there’s a fatal risk to the economy! So I don’t see them taking any action soon.

    Money is perhaps one of the reasons why boys are prefered – boys are still seen as being the bread winners and taking care of their parents. Women need to make it their duty to encourage equality in pay within their field. We don’t live in a world on our own so it is part of our duty to aim to further development is society.

    I do think education is often the key to gradual change but social education too from influential people such as priests, religious figures and Bollywood stars! Come on Bachchan’s, push for more change. Remember with power comes responsibility!

  4. I asked an Indian friend about this story and she said that as there is no free health care in India, it is mainly the middle classes who can afford ultrasound in the first place hence the increase in abortions of female foetuses.

    I agree people of influence should muscle in on the debate but in the end it’s down to cultures and individual families: many women are made to feel like a failure or incomplete for having only daughters and this is still an issue among British Asians as much as South Asians.

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