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Trip to India, for selective abortions

Many British-Indian women travel to India to abort their still-to-be-born daughters, reports Vijay Dutt.

world Updated: Dec 04, 2007 01:30 IST
Vijay Dutt

Several British-Indian women, succumbing to family pressure to have sons, are travelling to India to abort their still-to-be-born daughters.

According to a research by Sylvie Dubuck, of the Department of Social Policy and Social Work at Oxford University, almost 1,500 fewer girls were born to Indian mothers in England and Wales than would have been expected for the group between 1990 and 2005.

This represents one in ten girls “missing” from the birth statistics for India-born women having their third or fourth child. “What I have found is that the proportion of boys over girls has increased over time... it increased in a way that’s not normal. The most probable explanation seems to be sex-selective abortion,” said Dubuc.

A British-born woman, who has three daughters, admitted to the BBC that she terminated her latest pregnancy last year. She said she had no difficulty in finding a gynaecologist in Delhi to do a sex determination test and then to have the abortion — both illegal in India.

Dr Ramesh Mehta, president of the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, told HT: “We all know of the pressures in India to give birth to sons but that pregnant India-born women were travelling in large numbers to India to abort their unwanted daughters is