India is killing its daughters.
Before they are born, baby girls are slaughtered by the millions in discriminatory sex-selection abortions, and researchers believe the problem is growing worse.
The Church Militant reports researchers published new details about the mass killings in the prestigious medical journal “The Lancet” earlier this month. They estimated as many as 22.1 million girls were killed in sex-selection abortions between 1987 and 2016 in India.
“Half of the world’s missing female births occur in India, due to sex-selective abortion,” the researchers wrote, noting that the trend “continues to increase.”
This cultural “daughter aversion … should be a cause for serious alarm,” they continued.
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Their study found that sex-selection abortions particularly target girls in families with older daughters. Families who already had one or two daughters were highly unlikely to have a third daughter, with the ratio of boys to girls born to families with two daughters at just 788 to 1,000 in 2016.
Interestingly, the richest families appear to be the most discriminatory. According to the researchers, “missing female births were more common in the richest wealth quintile and among women with higher literacy.”
Other researchers have found similarly high numbers.
Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, told the Church Militant that their research estimates about 550,000 girls are killed in sex-selection abortions every year in India.
“It is a human tragedy of enormous proportions that will haunt India for generations,” said Mosher, a social scientist.
The 2019 Population Research Institute report estimated that about 15.8 million girls have gone “missing” in the country since 1990 due to sex-selection abortions, according to the report.
The horrific trend also has attracted international news attention in recent years.
A 2019 report in Newsweek, for example, exposed how not one single baby girl had been born in a three-month period in all of the Uttarkashi district, Uttarakhand state, northern India. Birth data from the district showed that all of the 216 babies who were born were boys, according to the report. Authorities suspect the reason was sex-selection abortions.
Pro-life advocates have been exposing sex-selection abortions and working to protect unborn girls for years, but many feminist groups and leaders remain silent.
The Church Militant noted that it contacted “a number of women leaders — including ‘feminist theologians’ — from a wide spectrum of Indian denominations” for its report this month, but none were willing to speak about the missing girls.
Sex-selection abortions are a problem across the world, but prominent feminist and human rights groups often ignore the deadly discrimination. The United Nations Population Fund, for example, condemns sex-selection abortions in its documents but does nothing to actually stop the discrimination, the Church Militant pointed out last year.
And in the United States, only a few states ban the discriminatory practice. Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups fight against bans on sex-selection abortions. One Planned Parenthood leader recently told the Associated Press, “EVERY reason to have an abortion is a valid reason,” including for sex-selection.