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Women protest against practice of sex selective abortion

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United we fight: Representatives of various women’s organisation holding a day-long fast in front of the Erode Municipality, demanding action against medical establishments that work against the interests of the girl child, in Erode on Thursday. —
United we fight: Representatives of various women’s organisation holding a day-long fast in front of the Erode Municipality, demanding action against medical establishments that work against the interests of the girl child, in Erode on Thursday. —

Staff Reporter

Hospitals and scan centres illegally carry out these procedures, they allege

ERODE: The district has a very poor sex ratio at birth, which is a cause for worry, said N. Radha, executive director, League for Education and Development (LEAD), a non-Government organisation.

Along with representatives of about 20 women’s organisations, she staged a day-long fast on Thursday in front of the Erode Municipality to protest against sex selective abortion and female foeticide.

“The sex ratio at birth has slid from 957 in 2001 to 927 in 2006 in Erode district,” said Ms. Radha, who attributes it to hospitals and scan centres illegally carrying out sex identification of the foetus and abortion.

“Of the 205 scan and imaging centres in the district, only 65 are registered,” she said and alleged that the registered institutions seldom maintained records.

“In the garb of fertility centres and others, medical establishments identify sex of the foetus based on patients’ request and kill it if it is female.

"And, in some establishments, the sex is determined to ensure that the foetus develops into a male.”

Referring to figures from over 30 primary health centres in the district, the activist said in Chittode, Thalavady, E. C. Palayam, K. N. Palayam PHCs figures showed that the sex ratio at birth was less than 900. In 2006 Chittode has recorded only 705 births girl child for every 1,000 boy child.

Likewise, Thalavady has 863, E. C. Palayam 735, and K. N. Palayam 841.

She said the Joint Director of Health and Family Welfare in Erode should come forward to pull up erring centres under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994.

Besides the above, the women also protested against eve teasing, poor portrayal of women in media, and demanded 33 per cent reservation in elected bodies.

Member of Legislative Assembly from Kangayam ‘Vidiyal’ S. Sekar, and others spoke at the protest in which about 100 women participated.

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