Asia-Pacific Population Journal

For over two decades, the Asia-Pacific Population Journal (APPJ) has been taking the pulse of population and social issues unfolding in the region. Published by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), APPJ brings out high quality, evidence-based and forward-looking articles relevant for population policies and programmes in Asia and the Pacific. Prominent population experts, award-winning demographers, as well as lesser known researchers have been contributing articles, documenting over the years the evolution of thinking in this important sphere.


Sex-selective abortion: Evidence from a community-based study in Western India

Selective abortion of female foetuses has been documented in India as early as the late 1970s when amniocentesis for genetic screening became available (Ramanama and Bambawale, 1980), but it was only with the increasing availability of ultrasound technology in the mid-1980s that the practice became widespread. Most of the existing evidence on sex-selective abortion comes from micro-studies in northern India. These have demonstrated a widespread acceptance of the practice, and several researchers have documented indirect evidence in the form of increasing sex ratios at birth in hospitals or within communities (Booth and others, 1994; Gu and Roy, 1995; Khanna, 1997; Sachar and others, 1990 and 1993; Sahi and Sarin, 1996). While abortion (also called medical termination of pregnancy, or MTP) on broad social and medical grounds has been legal since 1972, sex selection is not. The state of Maharashtra, where the present study was conducted banned prenatal sex selection in 1988; the Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques Bill made sex detection tests illegal throughout India in 1994.


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