Gujarat: forced to abort by her husband six times, they were all female fetuses
by Nirmala Carvalho
The husband and his family were "dissatisfied". The woman, 36, has denounced them and the doctors. A network of clandestine clinics uncovered, the government has already withdrawn the licenses of two gynecologists. Member of the Pontifical Academy for Life: "The female sex-selective abortions are altering the Indian population."

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - Forced to abort six times, because "incapable" of giving her husband a male heir: it happened in the district of Ahmedabad (Gujarat) to Amisha Bhatt, 36. The woman reported all her captors: her partner and his family for harassment, the doctors and other clandestine clinics in which she suffered first the test to find out the sex of the fetus, and then the six abortions. "With my gesture - Amisha said - I hope I have helped many other women who are in the same condition." Meanwhile, thanks to her complaint, the State of Gujarat has launched detailed investigations and already withdrawn the licenses to two doctors.

Since 1994, with the approval of the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Technologies (Pndt) Act in India it is illegal to use special tests - such as amniocentesis or ultrasound - to determine the sex of the fetus. By law, doctors are required to submit a list of patients who, for reasons of health, have conducted these tests. However, the Pndt was not enough to curb the spread of selective female abortions, and over the years clandestine clinics have spread. After having made a complaint, Amisha Batt has discovered that her name was not listed in any of the lists of gynecologists who carried out the six abortions on her.

Pascoal Carvalho, a physician and member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, told AsiaNews that "selective female abortions, feticide and violence against women and girls" are the only thing in India "beyond the barriers of caste and class." This, he adds, "reveals the brutal instances of widespread prejudice against girls."

These practices have become a plague, tied the archaic cultural preference for male children. But this situation, says Carvalho, a member of the Commission for human life of the Archdiocese of Mumbai, "is altering the composition of the population. According to the latest government census (2011), an average of 914 girls born for every 1,000 males." This is alarming, because in the very years in which the government has taken various measures and awareness campaigns on the theme, the gap between males and females has widened even more. In 2001, in fact, the sex ratio was 927 females per 1,000 males.

According to the doctor to change this situation and reverse the trend we need to first change people's mentality. "Mother Teresa said: If we accept that a mother kills her child, how can we tell others not to do it?".