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Abstract

Sex-selective abortion is a pratice involving the prenatal preference of males over females. Prior to the availability of ultrasound technology, this preference led to the abandonment or murder of female infants. However, with the increase in availability of ultrasound technology and the corresponding advance knowledge of the fetus’ sex, the ability to perform selective abortions was introduced. The concept of sex-selective abortion can be viewed through the lens of sex ratio at birth. The natural sex ratio is about 102-106 males to 100 females.1 However, the Indian cultural preference for males over females translates into a disproportionate sex ratio, in favor of males. This paper will examine the scale to which sex-selective abortions occur in India, the Indian government’s attempts to stop the practice, and its relationship to sex trafficking within the country.

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