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Sex selective abortion in India: some empirical evidence

Leela Visaria, Gujarat Institute of Development Research

In spite of the Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) Act, 1994, prohibiting sex selective abortion in India, it continues in states of Haryana, Punjab, Gujarat, as evident from the decline in the juvenile sex ratio between 1991 and 2001. The empirical study conducted in Haryana and Gujarat explores in depth the extent of sex selective abortion, factors compelling couples to resort to it, the decision making process, and the interlinkages between sex-selective abortion and decline in fertility. Data were collected in late 2002 by using quantitative and qualitative methods. The findings suggest that for third and higher parity, the female to male sex ratio was around 775, whereas that of the last birth ranged between 480 and 550. In both states, the deficit of girls was much greater among women who were educated beyond primary level, not engaged in any economic activity, belonged to upper castes and those whose families were landed.

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Presented in Session 156: Induced abortion (2)