Our country has at least one state that allows late term abortions and in a recent case in Canada a woman who murdered her baby was released on the grounds that it was a post-birth abortion.
India’s attitude towards abortion and infanticide doesn’t seems so different from what happens on this continent. The difference is that in our country, it’s a woman’s choice while in India, it results from contempt for women. Does it matter? People who don’t believe in abortion think phrasing it as a woman’s choice devalues women.
AsiaNews reports that today marks the third annual ‘National Girl Child Day’ in India. “One in 13 girls does not survive beyond six years of age,” said Dr Pascoal Carvalho. Sonograms are often performed to determine the sex of the child so if it is a girl, the baby can be aborted. Female infants are also killed.
Dr Carvalho said. “Girls are devalued not only because of economic considerations but also because of socio-cultural factors,” like lineage, protection for parents in their old age and rituals like lighting the funeral pyre and other death related rites. “Culturally, girl children are not valued and, in many Indian communities, familial and social pressures often dictate who is born and who survives.”
In some regions, sati is still practiced, whereby a widow joins her husband in the funeral pyre in order to fulfil her role as wife. However, it is a way to remove the economic “burden” of the woman.
The Catholic Church in India is trying to counteract the discrimination, devaluing and stereotyping of girls and women through education, dispensaries, hospitals, recreational activities and so on.