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Indian women living in US have sex-selective abortions

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Summary of story from Times of India, June 8, 2011

Some Indian immigrant women living in the US are using reproductive technologies and liberal abortion policies to abort female foetuses, according to a study conducted by University of California.

The women used sperm sorting or in-vitro fertilisation and implanted only the male embryos. Others aborted female foetuses.

The study doesn’t mention how widespread the practice is, and it only covers a small sample group. Researchers interviewed 65 immigrant Indian women in California, New Jersey and New York who pursued foetal sex selection between September 2004 and December 2009.

Of the women, 40 per cent had terminated prior pregnancies when carrying a female; 89 per cent who found out they were carrying a girl during the interview period had an abortion.

The women came from various religious and educational backgrounds and approximately half the women interviewed held jobs outside the home.

These results were consistent among all education levels; 38 had finished high school, 12 had graduated from college and 15 held advanced degrees in medicine, law, business, nursing and scientific research.

In addition, women who carried a female foetus said they were subject to varying degrees of verbal and physical abuse.

Women identified female in-laws and husbands as sources of significant pressure to have male children. This was especially true when in-laws lived nearby, but also occurred if they remained in India, according to the study.

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