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Challenging female feticide.

NEW DELHI * An official in the Indian Catholic church has endorsed the idea that participants in sex-selective abortions should be charged with murder.

The backing by Holy Spirit Missionary Sr. Helen Saldanha, secretary of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India Office for Women, comes as momentum builds to end female feticide, a practice that finds families terminating a pregnancy because the child they are expecting is a girl.

Filing criminal charges for killing a child in the womb because of its sex would "change the killer attitude" toward girls in Indian society, Saldanha said.

Although the practice of sex-selective abortions is illegal under Indian law, there is no provision for criminal prosecution. Recent census statistics indicate that the practice appears to be widespread, with census data showing a 2011 national ratio of 914 girls to 1,000 boys below age 6.

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Title Annotation:WORLD BRIEFS; sex-selective abortions in India
Publication:National Catholic Reporter
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Aug 17, 2012
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