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    » 12/14/2011, 00.00

    INDIA

    Eight arrests after selective female abortion racket uncovered

    Nirmala Carvalho

    A couple of doctors and their support staff ran the racket. According to India’s 2011 census, the country’s sex ratio is just 940 females per 1000 males, more skewed in cities than in rural areas. According to a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, men will outnumber women by 20 per cent in 20 years.
    Ambala (AsiaNews) – “The right to life is the first of all rights, but it is denied to many girls. This is a horrible crime,” said Card Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai, speaking about a racket of selective female infanticide uncovered by Indian police. Last night, police arrested eight support staff, technicians and nurses, at a hospital in Ambala (Haryana). A couple of doctors, Namarata and Ajay Madan, who ran the criminal scheme, are on the run.

    The investigation revealed that sex determination tests were carried out in order to perform abortions on female foetuses. It is not yet clear how many selective abortions were performed, but it is known that the racket extended into the northeastern Indian states of Haryana, Chandigarh, Punjab and Himanachal Pradesh. The couple had been investigated for the same offence in 2004.

    The discovery of the racket could just be the tip of the iceberg and have serious consequences for Indian society. The latest census (2011) showed that the sex ratio was just 940.27 females per 1000 males in India.

    For Dr. Pascoal Carvalho, of the Pontifical Academy for Life, “selective abortions and female infanticides have resulted in India's skewed sex ratio and is a cause for concern. What is more, contrary to what some might think, the gap is greatest in cities, among the most affluent communities and not in rural areas, among the illiterate. A recent study predicted that India would have 20 per cent more men than women in the next two decades due to sex-selective abortion and preference for boys in some states.”

    Female infanticide and foeticide is the tragic consequence of an archaic mentality and traditional cultural practices, namely a deep-rooted preference for sons and the continued practice of dowry. At the same time, fear for the safety of girls also leads to female infanticide. Overall, sex ratio is an important parameter that reflects the status of women in a society.

    Hence, “While the law is a powerful instrument of change,” Dr Carvalho noted, it “alone cannot root out this social problem. There has to be a coordinated effort of religious and social, educational and governmental agencies to effect the change.”

    “The increasing materialism and secularism in society resulting in God being marginalized in life and society’” are also to blame, Mumbai archbishop told AsiaNews. “Christmas is a time to put God back in the centre of our life and create anew a world of ethics, values and principles.”
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    See also

    10/10/2012 INDIA
    Three million girls "missing" as a result of selective abortions and infanticide
    The 2011 figures are from a study released by India's Central Statistical Organisation. Tomorrow, the world marks International Day of the Girl. "Government, civil society and families should work closely together" against patriarchal gender bias, says doctor member of the Pontifical Academy for Life. Maharashtra wants selective abortion to be treated as murder.

    27/03/2004 China
    Risk of abortion for 40-60 million female children over ten year period


    13/01/2006 INDIA
    Doctors must be more responsible vis-à-vis abortion, says Indian Church
    The secretary general of the Catholic Bishops' Conference is shocked by the Lancet study on selective abortions on India and stresses the need for ethics in the medical profession.

    28/01/2013 INDIA
    Karnataka, 20 fetuses found under a bridge, they were all girls
    Found in the district of Belgaum, where, the imbalance between males and females under the age of 6 is 931 girls per 1000 boys. Member of the Pontifical Academy for Life: selective abortions and female feticide are the worst form of violence against women.

    05/03/2008 INDIA
    Three thousand dollars per family to rear a daughter
    The programme has been announced by the central government and is aimed at poor families in 7 states. The target is to discourage the illegal, but still widespread practise of female foeticide.



    Editor's choices

    CHINA - VATICAN
    Vatican silence over Shanghai’s Mgr Ma Daqin causing confusion and controversy

    Bernardo Cervellera

    For some, Mgr Ma’s blog post praising the Patriotic Association and acknowledging his mistakes is nothing but “dirt”. For others, he chose humiliation for the “sake of his diocese”. Many wonder why the Holy See has remained silent about the article’s content and the bishop’s persecution. Some suspect the Vatican views the episode in positive terms. Yet, the Ma Daqin affair raises a major question. Has Benedict XVI’s Letter to Chinese Catholics (which describes the Patriotic Association as “incompatible with Catholic doctrine”) been abolished? If it has, who did it? A journey of compromises without truth is full of risks.


    CHINA – VATICAN
    Mgr Ma Daqin: the text of his “confession”

    Mons. Taddeo Ma Daqin

    Four years after quitting the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, the bishop of Shanghai “admits” his faults on his blog, praising the organisation that controls the Church. We publish his article, almost in its entirety. Translation by AsiaNews.


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