Bioethics News

Gendercide becomes an issue in Canada

The problem of gendercide has spread from India to Canada, researchers claim in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ). A statistical analysis of births in Ontario found that the male-to-female sex ratio at birth — which ranges between 1.03 to 1.07 naturally — is as high as 1.96 if an Indian-born woman already had two daughters.

The researchers believe that over the past 20 years, there are 4,472 “missing” girls in Canada as a result of a preference for males amongst Indian immigrants. This happens mostly when both parents were born in India.

Researchers looked at data on more than 1.2 million births in women with having a third child in Ontario between 1993 and 2012. Of these, 153,829 (12.6%) were immigrant women from Asia.

Among women born in India who already had two girls, the ratio of male to female babies for the third birth was almost double the average, with 196 boys born for every 100 girls. If an Indian-born mother with two daughters had had an abortion before the third child, the sex ratio increased to 326 boys for every 100 girls and to 409 boys if the mother had had multiple abortions.

If a woman had an abortion at or after 15 weeks, when ultrasound can determine sex of the fetus, the sex ratio rose further, to 663 boys for every 100 girls.

“Among some Indian immigrants, the practice of induced abortions is associated with subsequently having a boy, especially at the third birth and among women with two previous girls,” says Dr Marcelo Urquia, St.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.