Doctors Caught Doing Illegal Sex-Selection Abortions, But No Action Taken

International   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Sep 27, 2017   |   6:20PM   |   New Delhi, India

Doctors in India who allegedly performed or aided in performing illegal sex-selection abortions continue to practice unpunished because of a local government problem.

The News Minute reports authorities in Tamil Nadu, a state in southern India, said they caught eight doctors performing sex-selection abortions or offering sex determination illegally in the past nine months.

But these doctors, including one government physician and professor, continue to practice because the state medical council has not elected members to hear their cases, according to the report.

“It’s like letting a drunken man continue driving even after booking him,” a senior medical services official told the Times of India.

Sex-selection abortions are a huge problem in India and other Asian countries. Because of cultural preferences for sons and, in the case of China, oppressive population control measures, unborn baby girls often are targeted for abortions.

India prohibits sex-selection abortions, as well as ultrasounds to determine the sex of the unborn child, but the practices still occur.

Unrelated politics appear to be the problem in the current situation with the eight doctors.

According to The News Minute:

Due to internal issues among the elected members, Madras High Court had appointed a retired judge to conduct elections for the appointment of new members. The previous tenure of the members had ended on June 19.

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Justice K Venkataraman who was appointed to conduct the elections told ToI that he cannot carry out the polls until the council prepares the electoral rolls before calling for nominations.

Despite the officials from the Directorate of Medical Services filing cases and seizing the scan machines, they are unable to stop doctors from the practice.

One doctor is a government employee and professor at the Government Medical College in Sivaganga. In June, authorities said they caught the doctor taking money to determine the sex of a woman’s unborn child, according to the report. He continues to practice.

Indian authorities have been cracking down on the discriminatory practice as the population suffers.

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, boys outnumbered girls at a ratio of 1,000 to 878.

Meanwhile, most American doctors would not face any punishment for performing sex-selection abortions. Only 10 states prohibit the discriminatory practice. Though studies indicate unborn baby girls frequently are targeted for abortions, the abortion industry in America fights vehemently against sex-selection abortion bans.

Earlier this week, Planned Parenthood convinced a federal judge to block a new Indiana law that prohibits sex-selection abortions, as well as abortions based on genetic disorders like Down syndrome.