NRL News

Indian woman dies as baby is aborted in 7th month; authorities suspect sex-selective abortion

by | Sep 19, 2018

By Dave Andrusko

In an attempt to stem the tide of sex-selective abortions, in 2015 India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modis promoted #SelfieWithDaughter, a campaign to get dads to take pictures of themselves with their daughters.

Sex selective abortions are rampant in India, as NRL News Today has reported on many occasions [see here; here; and here). According to a story in The Hindu, a woman, seven months pregnant, died Tuesday of a suspected sex selective performed by a nurse.

R. Ramuthai, 28, came from Uthapanaickanoor, near Usilampatti in the Madurai district which is in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. According to S. Sundar, “Usilampatti came under the national spotlight for in the late 90s for the high incidence of female infanticide and foeticide.”

Police suspect the victim, a mother of three girls and seven months pregnant with a fourth child, could have opted to abort her foetus upon learning through an illegal sex determination test that she was carrying a female foetus.

Sundar writes that when the woman and her aunt approached a private hospital in Usilampatti , the abortionist refused, citing how advanced her pregnancy was. “However, a nurse at the hospital promised to help Ms. Ramuthai,” Sundar explained.

The nurse, Jothilakshmi, who allegedly administered an injection to terminate the pregnancy at her home in Uthapanaickanoor, has been arrested.

“We got information about the death of Ramuthai at the house of the nurse,” [inspector of police] Mr. Madasamy said. Her body was brought to the Government Rajaji hospital in Madurai for a post-mortem.

Under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, no laboratory or centre or clinic is allowed to conduct any test including ultrasonography for the purpose of determining the sex of the fetus. The Act’s intent is straightforward: to prevent sex selective abortion.

Authorities have been asked to conduct an inquiry, Sundar reported, “and take stringent action if the sex of foetus had been revealed to the mother in violation of Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) Act.”

“I am not aware of her attempt to abort the pregnancy. I came to know about the entire episode only when I was told about her death,” said S. Vellai, 60, Ms. Ramuthai’s father. …

Ms. Ramuthai’s husband, Ramar, said he was unaware of her attempt to abort the baby.