War on female babies, actually. Dean Nelson in The Telegraph.
The initiative is an attempt to halt the growing gender imbalance in India where girls are considered a financial burden and families fear the cost of paying illegal but common dowries when they marry.
Campaigners believe upto eight million unborn girls were aborted in India in the last decade, while UN figures show that female infants are twice as likely to die in India before the age of five. The number of girls born per thousand boys has declined from 976 in 1961 to 914 in 2011, according to census statistics.
Current laws to prevent ‘sex selection’ and female feticide, clinic doctors who perform the operations or the ultrasound tests to determine whether the sex of the foetus face punishments ranging from a 1000 Rupee fine (Â£12) to three years imprisonment.
But in the last ten years only 463 people have been prosecuted and the government’s Ministry for Women and Child Development wants to turn the focus on the family networks which put pressure on women to abort unborn girls.
A senior ministry official, who asked not to be named, said the government wants all those who pressurise a woman into having an abortion to bear the punishment.
“It is important to make families equally accountable. The families go to clinics performing sex selection tests, so logically they initiate the process of sex selection and female foeticide. We are seeking amendments in the present law to make families equally liable for the offence,” she said…