A new study shows Indian families who already have one daughter are increasingly aborting subsequent pregnancies when prenatal tests determine that yet another one is on the way. Wealthier, better-educated households are more likely to reject a second daughter, according to the research in the medical journal Lancet.
A ban went into effect in India in 1996 prohibiting exactly this practice, but it has proven to be largely ineffective. As with many other cultures across the world, there is a preference in India for boys partly because of the expense of marrying off girls and paying their dowries. Between 4 million and 12 million pregnancies with girls are believed to have terminated in India over the past 30 years.
Have you (or do you) preferred one sex over the other so badly that it has ever crossed your mind that you would have an abortion if you found out you weren’t having it?
In the past few years more products have been creeping onto the market to allow expectant parents to determine the sex of their baby at home, sort of like an ovulation kit or home pregnancy test. Generally sex can be determined for certain around the time of the 20-week ultrasound, but sometimes sex can be correctly predicted as early as 12 weeks by a really good sonographer. There are also countless old wives tales that can predict sex in a pregnancy.
It’s not at all uncommon for parents to be anxious to find out the sex of their baby, and oftentimes it’s because they have strong preference for one over the other. In this culture it seems to be most common to hear expectant parents talk publicly about simply wanting a healthy baby, but plenty will still express their desire to have a boy over a girl, or vice versa. But how far will people with a preference go to ensure they get what they want?
Can you say that in your deepest, darkest moments you haven’t considered the possibility of terminating your pregnancy when you found out you weren’t expecting the sex you had hoped for? Do you think it’s more taboo in the United States to abort based on sex rather than, say, a country like India or China that has no qualms about publicly valuing one sex over the other?
Source: Fox News
Image: Wikimedia Commons
Feature: What should I do? I Wanted a Boy, Having a Girl