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Doctors guilty of selective abortions in India

One hundred Indian doctors will be condemned for conducting selective abortions in the country. It was the Ministry of Health that initiated an investigation which identified the offenders of the Pre-Conception & Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, the 1994 law that makes it illegal to use tests to reveal the sex of the foetus. As well as a fine and the suspension (or cancellation) of their license, the suspects risk from 6 months to 5 years in prison. Dr. Pascal Carvalho, a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, told Asia News to judge positively the decision of the ministry: "Using strong deterrents can help to prevent similar forms of discrimination." The doctor points out that preference for males is "an expression of a lack of respect for women, and one of the causes of the increase in crimes against them," and that the underlying motivation is linked to economic grounds. This emerges, moreover, also from the documentary It's a Girl (2012): contempt for women begins before birth and lasts (for those who manage to be born) for the whole of life. In fact, linked to the birth of the female, there is not only the problem of the dowry, but also of the respect for the married woman. In addition, in some provinces of India a widespread practice of sati, the immolation of the widow on the funeral pyre of her deceased husband still exists: presented as a voluntary ritual, it is actually a way of freeing oneself of the economic burden of a woman who has been left alone. Finally it should be remembered that selective abortions are not limited to low economic and social levels, being widespread among upper-middle class families. "According to a recent study Skewed Sex Rations in India: Physician, Heal Thyself – Carvalho concluded – in the country the families of doctors have more boys than girls."

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