Microsoft, Google and Yahoo Agree to Block Ads in India for Sex-Selection Abortions

International   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Sep 21, 2016   |   1:15PM   |   Washington, DC

Three of the world’s top internet search engine companies have agreed to block ads related to sex-selection abortions in India as the country works to combat deadly prejudices against girls.

The targeting of girls for sex-selection abortions and infanticide has become a global problem. As LifeNews previously reported, sex-selection abortions are commonplace in nations like China and India where women are often forced to abort female unborn babies because of a cultural preference for boys. However, evidence suggests that abortions also are being used to target unborn girls in the U.S. and Europe.

The results have led to extreme gender imbalances in the population. The 2011 India census data shows there are 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 is even worse. For example, in the Indian state of Tiruvannamalai, men outnumber women at a ratio of 1,000 to 878.

Discrimination against girls has become such a huge problem in India that doctors are prohibited from telling parents the sex of their unborn baby. However, the practice still is occurring. Expecting parents are turning to the internet to find doctors or test kits that promise to determine the sex of their baby.

Silicon Angle reports Microsoft (which owns the search engine Bing), Google and Yahoo recently agreed to help India government officials crack down on sex-selection abortions by banning online ads related to prenatal gender testing.

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Here’s more from the report:

The Health Ministry of India told the Supreme Court that the three tech giants had agreed, “to block 22 key-words relating to pre-natal gender testing,” according to the BBC. According to the same report the companies were told to follow India’s laws or “cease operations” in the country.

India’s male-to-female birth rate is higher in India than most parts of the world, and it’s thought that female feticide is the cause. Studies show the number of females born compared to males has been decreasing over the years. The reason is not just affordable ultrasound, but also because of the number of illegal clinics, as well as sex discrimination kits, advertised online. And the growing number of Indian internet users is also a major factor.

The tech companies had first been ordered to start blocking keywords in July, and they had replied to the court that it would be unfeasible because “good” content also would be blocked as a result. The reply from the Indian court was stern: “You can’t say that you are not technically equipped. If you say you are, get out of the market.”

The Indian Supreme Court made the same request to Yahoo, Google and Bing last year, and the companies complied. However, it appears that ads continued to appear online, leading to the current situation.

Indian government leaders have been trying to crack down on the discriminatory practices in many different ways. Last year, some of the nation’s leaders put together creative social campaigns to promote the value of girls and discourage gender discrimination.

Pro-life blogger Rebecca Taylor describes sex-selection abortions as the real “war on women” in our world today.

“The number of girls ‘missing’ in Asia is equivalent to the entire female population of the United States, the majority due to sex-selective abortion,” she wrote in 2013. “It is a real war that takes the lives of millions of females every year. This real war is fueled by abortion.”