Police in India said they found and arrested the abortion doctor who allegedly was killing unborn girls in illegal sex-selection abortions.
Hindustan Times reports police said they arrested Dr. Babasaheb Khidrapure on Tuesday after discovering the bodies of 19 aborted baby girls buried near his hospital in Maharashtra last week. Police said they began investigating Bharati Hospital after learning of a woman who died there in a botched abortion. They said they were looking for the woman’s aborted baby when they discovered the other bodies.
Dattatray Shinde, superintendent of police, told the BBC the hospital appeared to be “an abortion racket.”
Police said they also have suspicions about five other medical practitioners who visited the hospital and may have been involved in illegal abortion practices, according to the report.
Authorities believe illegal sex-selection abortions were taking place at Bharati Hospital, but police said the hospital did not have a sonogram machine. Police said they suspect the women may have gone to another facility to learn the sex of their unborn babies.
Here’s more from the report:
Police have come to the conclusion that Dr Khidrapure used to wrap foetuses in a polythene bag and dump it near a stream after abortion. Police, so far, have recovered 19 foetuses and sent them for DNA tests, which will help trace parents and also throw light whether they were girls, police said.
Sangli SP Dattatreya Shinde said they had identified a few witnesses in the cases and would be called soon for recording statement.
The incident came to the light when Swati Jamdade died due to over bleeding while Dr Khidrapure was operating her for abortion.
Swati Jamdade’s husband allegedly wanted the abortion after learning she was carrying a girl, their third child, according to the Times of India. The woman was 26 years old and died on Feb. 28, according to police. Her husband was arrested and charged for his involvement in the abortion, police said.
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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, operated by a couple and their son, covertly brought women to their 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 commonplace in nations like China and India where women sometimes 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, 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.
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.