No one will complain about access to the best of medical technology across the globe. With so much of the world lacking modern medical resources, those developing and newly-emerging countries are happy to provide their population with the tools to keep them healthy and thriving.
However, there is a dark underbelly to constant medical developments and ready access to them. Countries like India and South Korea have seen a severe uptick in pre-natal sex selection via abortion. For social, cultural and, sometimes, economic reasons parents will selectively abort a pregnancy if they find they have produced the “wrong gender”. Most of these abortions terminate female fetuses.
As a result, the sex ratio in India has become unbalanced. Without sex selection practices, the male to female ratio should hover around 102:100. At its worst point in the late 1990’s, India sported a 109:100 male to female ratio. While that ratio doesn’t seem significant when you factor in the sheer size of the Indian population, it roughly translates to 798 females for every 1000 males, or around 200 million less females than males at the worst point in sex-selection history.
The practice has tapered off significantly in the past decade, but Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is pushing for more positive action to put a stop to the practice, often referred to as female foeticide or infanticide. Last year the Indian government urged major search engines including Yahoo!, Bing and Google to stop running side bar ads that sold pre-natal gender selection. Now, they’ve taken the Twittersphere by storm with #selfieswithdaughter
The hashtag has met with some criticism as “forced, fake or pedantic” but overall stands to do a world of good for balancing the dangerously unbalanced sex ratio.