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Disappearing Daughters: Women Pregnant With Girls Pressured Into Abortions

December 9, 2011

It is a country with a female president and where men revere female goddesses. And yet, India is far from a haven for women.

According to current estimates, Indian men outnumber women by nearly 40 million. That startling gender gap, activists say, is the result of gendercide.

Nearly 50,000 female fetuses are aborted every month and untold numbers of baby girls are abandoned or murdered.

“It’s the obliteration of a whole class, race, of human beings. It’s half the population of India,” said women’s rights activist Ruchira Gupta of Apne Aap Women Worldwide.

Why is there such deadly discrimination against girls? Part of the answer is money. Girls are a financial burden to their parents, who must pay expensive dowries to marry them off. The dowry is a cultural tradition and the single biggest reason Indians prefer boys.

When an Indian woman gives birth to a baby boy, it is an occasion for jubilation, said women’s rights activist Gita Aravamudan, author of the book, “Disappearing Daughters.”.

Mother Says She Was Tortured to Abort Twin Girls

Those seeking to maintain the status quo, meanwhile, have been aggressive.

Mitu Khurana, 34, a pediatrician and a mother trying to fight the system, said she’s faced death threats for the lawsuit she has filed against her husband and her husband’s family.

Khurana said her parents-in-law tricked her into eating a cake made with eggs, knowing that she was allergic to eggs. She had to go to the emergency room and at the hospital, where, Khurana said, an ultrasound determined that she was pregnant with twin girls. (Watch an interview with Mitu Khurana here.)

Full story

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Patricia permalink
    December 11, 2011 12:44 am

    Dr. Mitu Khurana,
    I have just seen your interview on American television. You are a brave woman and a wonderful mother. I could feel the immense love you have for your daughters. What you have been through is horrifying and unthinkable.
    Thank you for fighting for all the women and girls in India that have no voice.

  2. Devi permalink
    December 13, 2011 9:23 pm

    Dr. Mitu Khurana,

    I came across your video. Proud of you for the fight. I wonder being a doctor family why they cannot afford daughters.The mother-in -law is also a female. If your husband cannot save his own daughters whom he is going to save. Publish his photos and information so that another women wont suffer. If this is the case with well educated and settled doctor family what will be state pf poor families. You have a job and income, so educate and make them independent so that they wont go into the same situation. I can feel your immense love for your daughter. Being a mother I can understand the fight you made. Keep going. Fight till you get the reward. Let them all go to jail. All the best. Hugs to you and your daughters

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