Friday, July 13, 2007

India wants to register pregnancies to fight feticide

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India plans to create a registry of all pregnancies to help curb widespread female foeticide and reduce its high infant mortality rate, although activists say the scheme will be hard to implement.

"With this, mysterious abortions will become difficult," Women and Child Development Minister Renuka Chowdhury told the Hindustan Times.

The government wanted to ensure that abortions -- often carried out illegally with the aim of doing away with unwanted female foetuses -- were done for an "acceptable and valid reason", she said.

"This will help to check both foeticide and infant mortality."


The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) welcomed the plan but said the government also needed to provide more facilities for institutional deliveries in rural areas and crack down harder on doctors abetting foeticide.

"Registering pregnancies is good," said Marzio Babille, UNICEF's head of health in India.

"If we act upon mothers by registering pregnancies, offering quality ante-natal care, good counselling to deal with complications and an efficient transportation network ... this would enormously help promote institutional deliveries and strengthen and expand the safe maternity scheme," Babille added.


Very interesting concept. I'm surprised that UNICEF agrees, but it's true-- if you register pregnancies, acknowledge that a human life exists.

I think this is a step in the right direction.

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