Female Foeticide A Socio-Legal Enigma

Nidhi Ranka
LL.M (2018 -2019)
Symbiosis Law School, Pune

Volume II – Issue II, 2019

“Every newborn baby is God’s opinion that the WORLD should go on” – Carl Sandburg

Women are facing atrocities all over the world. But one of the most brutal of them al is female foeticide where the fetus is killed in the mothers’ womb only for being a females, even before they have the opportunity to be born.

Female feticide in general means the selective abortion of female fetuses in a patriarchal form of society, Females not only faces inequality in all the male dominant cultures but now they are even denied the right to be born . “Earlier it was difficult to determine the sex of the fetus in the womb so after the birth of the child when found it to be a girl child then she was drowned in the milk mixed with opium but with the innovation Prenatal sex detection technologies have made it easier to determine the sex in the womb of the mother itself and now this technique has been completely misused, allowing the selective abortions of female and letting offspring to flourish through male children. Legally, however, female feticide is a penal offence. Although female infanticide has long been committed in India, feticide is a relatively new practice, emerging concurrently with the advent of technological advancements in prenatal sex determination on a large scale in the 1990s” .

Why do so many families selectively abort baby daughters? This can be answered in one word – it is economical . Female feticide is stirred by many factors which will be discussed in detail further in the paper, but predominantlybecause the families of the girl have to pay dowry to the future bridegroom of a daughter. Whereasthe son offers security to their families in old age and can perform the rites for the souls of deceased parents and ancestors, daughters are alleged to be a social and economic burden .

“While abortion is legal in India, it is a crime to abort a pregnancy solely because the fetus is female. Strict laws and penalties are in place for violators. These laws, however, have not stemmed the tide of this abhorrent practice. This article will discuss the socio-legal enigma female feticide presents, as well as the consequences of having too few women in Indian society” .


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