Human Rights

Woman in India dies after family members force her to abort baby girl

India

A woman in India was forced into an abortion by her family after they learned she was pregnant with a girl. She later died from the procedure, and her family is now under investigation.

Mithun Kumar, Superintendent of Police Anakanuru, spoke to the New Indian Express about the case. The woman, Sreekanya, lived in Polavarapalli Village of Bagepalli, and got married in 2014 to a man named Somashekar. They had two children, both girls, and when Sreekanya got pregnant for a third time, Somashekar expected a boy, as did his family.

Somashekar and his family took Sreekanya to see a doctor in Ananthpur, Andhra Pradesh, where they performed an illegal ultrasound to determine the sex of the baby. When it was discovered that she was having another girl, they forced Sreekanya into an abortion against her will. Not long afterwards, Sreekanya’s health began to deteriorate, and she was taken to a hospital in Bengaluru, where she died.

 

While it is not disclosed which abortion procedure Sreekanya was forced into, the most common second-trimester abortion procedure is a dilation and evacuation, or D&E, procedure. It is a violent, multi-day procedure during which the abortionist tears the preborn baby apart, limb from torso. There are risks of major complications, including perforation or laceration of the uterus and cervix, as well as damage to other maternal organs, excessive bleeding and hemorrhaging, and future pregnancy complications.

READ: Baby girl rescued after being buried alive in field in India

In India, there is a strong cultural preference for sons over daughters, which has led to millions of missing girls due to sex-selective abortion. Sex-selective abortion and ultrasounds used to determine the sex of the baby were both banned in India in 1994, but unfortunately remain common. The preference for boys over girls has led to a distorted sex ratio, which has led to horrific implications, including a lack of women available to marry. This in turn has contributed to an increase in sex trafficking and child brides.

An estimated 114 boys are born for every 100 girls in India.

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