Police in India are investigating the deaths of a woman and her unborn daughter from an alleged illegal, late-term sex-selection abortion.
Press Trust of India (PTI) reports the 30-year-old mother, of Usilampatti, allegedly had a nurse abort her unborn baby at seven months of pregnancy.
Police said both the mother and unborn baby died Tuesday in the botched abortion. They believe the woman and her family arranged for the at-home abortion after a hospital scan revealed that the unborn baby was a girl.
Abortions are illegal after 20 weeks of pregnancy in India. Sex-selection abortions also are illegal, but many still occur because of a cultural preference for male children.
Some women report being abused or threatened by their families unless they abort unborn baby girls. It is unclear if this was a factor in the most recent case. According to police, the mother already had three girls and her family wanted her to have an abortion after they found out she was carrying a fourth girl.
Here’s more from the report:
Ramuthayee, already having three girl children, decided to go for abortion after a private hospital, where she underwent a scan, revealed that the yet-to-be born child was also a girl despite the ban on pre-natal sex determination, they said.
The family of the woman of Uthapuram wanted to go for abortion, but doctors at a hospital in Dhottappanayagar whom they approached refused to take up the procedure citing her advanced stage of pregnancy.
Ramuthayee was then taken to a nurse who performed the abortion at the residence, leading to her death, police said.
The Usilampatti area is notorious for sex-selection abortions, according to the report.
Sex-selection abortions and other abuses of women are rampant in India. One woman was brutally beaten and mutilated by her estranged husband and another was doused with gasoline and almost lit on fire because they were pregnant with baby girls.
The abuses endured by women and girls in India are nothing short of horrifying. Earlier this year the Government of India estimated 63 million girls are missing from its population. Many who make it outside of the womb are subjected to neglect, abuse and even infanticide and murder.
Al Jazeera recently profiled one Indian mother who suffered years of physical abuse, harassment and intimidation from her husband, in part, because she kept bearing baby girls. Two of her unborn daughters also were aborted forcibly by her husband.
LifeNews reported about another gruesome case where an India 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. In 2017, another woman died along with her unborn baby girl after an allegedly forced, sex-selection abortion in India.
The discrimination and abuses against women have led to a huge population crisis in the Asian country.
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 population imbalance was even worse. 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. Sex-selection abortions and tests to determine the baby’s sex are illegal in India. In 2015, some of the nation’s leaders also put together creative social campaigns to promote the value of girls and discourage gender discrimination.