By Dave Andrusko
While prenatal testing for gender is illegal in India, there is a constant stream of stories that the practice of aborting female babies because they are not boys continues to flourish.
The Times of India recently reported that the health administration in Solapur district, located in the Indian state of Maharashtra, raided the hospital of Tejas Gandhi and his wife Priya and determined they had “carried out five sex determination tests and 36 abortions at their facility.”
The couple were charged under the 1971 Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act.
In addition, “In the first week of March, the Sangli police arrested homeopath Babasaheb Khidrapure for allegedly conducting illegal abortions at his clinic; 19 fetuses were found in the nullah [ravine] behind his clinic.” Sangli is also located in the state of Maharashtra.
According to the Times of India the illegal abortions heightened concern over the state’s child sex ratio. In 2015 there were 907 girls born for every 1,000 boys, already a serious imbalance. In 2016, there were only 899 girls born for every 1,000 boys.
Police raided Tejas Gandhi and his wife Priya’s hospital on August 24 after “civil surgeon Shrikant Bhoi got a complaint from activist Varsha Deshpande. Bhoi informed the Solapur civil surgeon Mallikarjun Pattanshetti, and that led to the raid and arrest.”
Inspector Arun Sawant from the city of Akluj in Solapur district “said the police were trying to find out how the fetuses were disposed of and whether there was any racket involved. Solapur district authorities were likely to carry out searches at all maternity homes in the district.”