Police in India are investigating a Maharashtra hospital after they uncovered the bodies of 19 aborted baby girls and a woman died in a botched abortion.
The news is another sign of the continuing problem of sex-selection abortions and the targeting of unborn girls. Sex-selection abortions are illegal in India, as are sex-determination procedures and tests, but investigations like these indicate the practice continues anyway.
The BBC reports last week, police found 19 aborted baby girls buried near the hospital “with the intention of disposing” the bodies at a later time.
Police said they began investigating the hospital after learning of a woman who died in a botched abortion on Feb. 28. They said they were looking for the woman’s aborted baby when they discovered the other bodies.“It appears to be an abortion racket. We have arrested the husband of the woman, and have launched a manhunt for the doctor who has gone missing,” Dattatray Shinde, superintendent of police, told the BBC.
The husband allegedly wanted the abortion after learning his wife was carrying a girl, their third child, according to the Times of India. The woman was 26 years old and died on Feb. 28 after the abortion, according to police.
Here’s more from the report:
The woman had died during abortion at the private hospital of Dr Babasaheb Khidrapure in the village. Khidrapure holds a Bachelor’s degree in Homoeopathy, the SP said.
“As the villagers suspected a foul play in the woman’s death, they approached police, following which the racket was busted,” Shinde said, adding the doctor is on the run.
He said the woman was taken to the hospital by her husband Praveen Jamdade a few days back for abortion as she was carrying a girl child for the third time.
Authorities said there may be more aborted baby girls’ bodies that have not been discovered yet.
Indian police uncovered a similar practice last August in the state of Tiruvannamalai. According to The New Indian Express, police raided an illegal abortion practice where sex-selection abortions appeared to be going on. When authorities entered the building, they noted that all three of the unborn babies who were aborted that day were girls, according to the report.
The illegal practice, run by a couple and their son, covertly brought women to their three-story home where the women paid 5,000 rupees (about $75) for a scan, possibly to determine the sex of the child, and then another 7,000 rupees (about $105) for the abortion, according to the report.
In September, LifeNews reported about another gruesome case where a woman’s in-laws allegedly poured gas on her and tried to set her on fire because they believed she was pregnant with a girl.
The targeting of girls for sex-selection abortions and infanticide has become a global problem. As LifeNews previously reported, sex-selection abortions are common in nations like China and India where women often are forced to abort female unborn babies because of a cultural preference for boys.
The results have led to extreme gender imbalances in the population. The 2011 India census data showed there were 914 girls for every 1,000 boys under age 7 – the most unbalanced gender ratios in the world, according to the BBC. In some parts of the country, the problem was even worse. For example, in the Indian state of Tiruvannamalai, men outnumbered women at a ratio of 1,000 to 878.
A recent government report suggested that India’s rising income levels are not helping to protect girls from abortion and infanticide. An analysis of the data by India Spend found that the per capita income in India rose nearly 10 times at the same time as the ratio of boys to girls dropped.
The analysis found that the wealthiest states in India tended to have the most disproportionate ratios of boys to girls. For example, Delhi has the second highest per capita income but its ratio of boys to girls is 1,000 to 896, according to the report.
Indian government leaders have been trying to crack down on the discriminatory practices in many different ways. In 2015, some of the nation’s leaders put together creative social campaigns to promote the value of girls and discourage gender discrimination.