MUMBAI, INDIA, July 12, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – The problem of sex-selective abortion has been thrust into the spotlight by pro-life exposes in the United States and Great Britain. Now, a state in India wants to treat the practice as murder.
The state government of Maharashtra has petitioned the government to change national law so it can apply Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code to those implicated in female feticide. Sentences could be as severe as life imprisonment or death. Some worry this will apply to the mother herself, who is a victim, rather than those who force her into the procedure.
On Tuesday, India’s national health minister Suresh Shetty has suggested the federal legislative body may have to change the statute, if it is to be changed at all.
The nation has begun a crackdown on illegal femicide since a pair of husband and wife abortionists in Beed, Sudam and Saraswati Munde, were found to have aborted female babies and fed their bodies to dogs.
India’s most outspoken abortion supporters have objected. Dr. Suchitra Dalvie asked, “If one type of abortion is considered murder, then what do we consider the other abortions?”
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Maharashtra has formed 584 teams of investigators, who have seized ultrasound machines in 291 medical centers suspected of sex-selective abortion.
The Indian national Food and Drug Administration has charged 37 peopled with wrongly prescribing abortifacient drugs since June 6. The FDA also put 1,159 pharmacists on notice for violating regulations.
The pill is only supposed to be used for the first 63 days of pregnancy but is often use well into the second trimester. Only qualified medical specialists are supposed to make prescriptions, but the head of a gynecology department admitted, “in practice, the drug was being dispensed by homoeopaths, MBBS doctors, quacks and chemists themselves.”
Sales of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) kit have fallen by 65 percent in the capital city of Mumbai (formerly Bombay) and as much as 81 percent nationwide.
“We have started action against doctors/wholesellers/retailers of such drugs who have not been following prescribed norms,” FDA commissioner Mahesh Zagade said. “The drop in the sale of these drugs is a clear indication that we have been successful in our drive.”
A Mumbai pharmacist exclaimed, “The FDA reports us directly to the police for not keeping paperwork. Isn’t this extreme?”
However, health minister Suresh Shetty has warned pharmacies not to refuse to stock the drugs for fear of prosecution.
India’s pro-abortion organizations plan to protest the prosecution of abortion malpractice on July 18, claiming the issue is a distraction.