Civil Liberties

If It Moves, Register It!


There is growing concern in India over increasingly high abortion rates for female fetuses. Supposedly, having a boy assures parents of an income source in their dotage and spares them the financial burden of a dowry. The result: Many families who can afford it get illegal sex tests done and then have a fetus of the "wrong" sex quietly aborted. Abortions are only allowed in "special circumstances" (e.g. rape, incest etc.) in India, but that doesn't stop one in every 25 females being aborted, according to one study.

The government has come up with a foolproof solution: Have every woman register her pregnancy with the government so they'll know about any illegal abortions. Unfortunately, it's yet to explain how it will enforce the plan, nor what incentives women could possibly have for registering (via Feministing):

Some activists said the government's plan to create a pregnancy register in a country of 1.1 billion people–where more than 50 percent of women deliver children at home without medical assistance–was unrealistic.

"We cannot give elementary health services in a satisfactory way to most of our citizens, and to talk about registering pregnancies is ridiculous," said Alok Mukhopadhyay, head of the Voluntary Health Association of India.

What is it with the recent fad in baby-registering?

Kerry Howley blogged the deficit in German baby production last year.