Tuesday, July 5, 2011

20 per cent fewer women predicted

Indian bishops distressed by missing girls

More than five million girls have gone missing in a decade in India according to a May 8 story in the National Catholic Register.

The reduced number of girls being born, say the Indian bishops, indicates an anti-female mentality rampant in the country. An alarming drop in the number of girls under six was revealed in 2011 census figures.

Cardinal Oswald Gracias
"We need to address this problem as a major challenge," said Cardinal Oswald Gracias, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India.

Parents, he said, conduct illegal testing to ascertain if their pre-born child is a boy or girl and abort if the testing reveals a female. The desire for sons is a "deep-rooted belief" as sons are considered important to perform the last rites as mandated by Hindu sacred writings.

Father Sebastian Ouseparambil, Catholic Health Association of India director, said parents even approach Catholic hospitals requesting the procedure while unscrupulous medical practitioners are "cashing in" by setting up clinics around the country.

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