Thursday, February 21, 2008

Female feticide and infanticide

~an excerpt from Chiesa.
The killing of girls both in their mothers' womb and after their birth – often by feeding them poisonous plants or drowning them, to simulate an accident – is a very widespread practice in India. In many families, the birth of a daughter is considered an unbearable burden, partly because of the very expensive dowry that must accompany her future marriage. The possibility of knowing the sex of the unborn child in advance has increased beyond measure the selective abortion of girls.

To halt the slaughter, the Indian government has prohibited the identification of a child's sex before birth, but this ban is largely circumvented. The effect is an astonishing demographic imbalance between males and females, which in some places has reached radical extremes. In the state of Madhya Pradesh, in the districts of Bhind and Morena, there are now only 400 women for every 1,000 men.

The Catholic Church is fighting to oppose this phenomenon and reawaken consciences, in accord with other religious confessions. The latest initiative in this vein is an appeal launched at the end of January by 200 Indian religious leaders, of the Christian, Hindu, Islamic, and Sikh faiths, against this "crime against God and against humanity."
Read more on the crisis in India

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