AHMEDABAD, India, April 23, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – After the horrific experience of being forced to abort five daughters, a mother in India has risen from the ashes to become a champion for Indian wives and mothers who suffer abuse, rejection, and even torture from a husband or in-laws who, in a male-obsessed culture, demand a male heir, reports the Times of India.
Amisha Bhatt, 36, was coerced to undergo illegal ultrasounds to determine the sex of her babies between August 2001 and January 2009. When each test revealed that Amisha was pregnant with a girl, her husband and in-laws relentlessly forced her to abort. Her first daughter was aborted immediately after her first ultrasound visit in August 2001.
“My husband and his parents are obsessed with having a boy in the family,” Amisha told the Ahmedabad Mirror in 2009. “They don’t consider me a human being. They think I am a [baby making] machine,” she said.
“In the past nine years, they have coerced me into aborting five female fetuses.”
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One of Amisha’s daughters was remarkably spared the terrible fate of her sisters. “When I was pregnant the third time, I had gone for a wedding where I fell ill and was packed off to my parents’ place. This is how I gave birth to a girl child Kamya,” said Amisha to the Times of India in 2009.
The birth of Kamya only increased the often-violent pressure that Amisha’s husband exerted on her to bear for him a male child.
By early 2009, Amisha was rejected by her husband and thrown out of her house. “My mother-in-law said she would get another daughter-in-law who would give birth to a male child,” Amisha said at that time.
But Amisha wanted justice for her daughters murdered through abortion and for the abuses she had suffered. She lodged a complaint against her husband and in-laws in 2009 with the police. She also filed a complaint to the Minister of Health against the doctors who had performed the illegal ultrasounds and the prohibited sex selection abortions. She based her complaint on her country’s 1994 Pre-Conception & Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, (PCPNDT Act) which prohibits sex determination ultrasounds and sex selective abortions.
The Act also offers India’s pregnant women legal protection from coercion, stating that “no person including a relative or husband of the pregnant woman shall seek or encourage the conduct of any pre-natal diagnostic techniques on her.”
The Minister of Health examined the official records from the clinics that performed the illegal procedures on Amisha, but found that none of her procedures had been recorded.
“This meant that the government had no information on the tests conducted on me, as mandated under the PCPNDT Act. There may have been many such women like me. The doctors were maintaining a secret list of patients on which sex determination tests were being conducted,” Amisha said.
Amisha then handed over to the Minister of Health her ultrasound reports and receipts from the clinics who had performed the illegal ultrasound tests and sex selective abortions. A further investigation by the Minister of Health uncovered a mutually beneficial relationship that existed secretly between the ultrasound clinic that was offering the illegal tests and the abortion clinic that had been killing the unborn girls.
“The records revealed an ugly truth,” said Dr. Rajendra Shukla of Yogkshem Manav Sansthan, an organization to protect human dignity that helped Amisha with her case.
“Amisha’s name was not mentioned in the [clinic’s] monthly reports sent to the health officers. We proved the abortion and sonography [procedures had happened] with help of the bills of the doctors. The form ‘F’ for sonography did not have signature of Amisha’s, [which is] a prerequisite.”
“We submitted the proofs to the health officials and blew lid off the scam,” she said.
Due to Amisha’s courageous stand to seek justice for herself and to honor her murdered daughters, the licenses of two of her doctors have been revoked for malpractice, according to the Times of India. The state government has also reportedly reviewed the standards for the monthly reports that doctors are required to submit.