By Michael van der Mast and Hilary White

COIMBATORE, India, June 26, 2009 ( – Thousands of women marched in Coimbatore, southern India this week to protest the practice of sex-selective abortion. Ten thousand students participated in the three kilometer long march carrying signs reading “Do not kill us” and shouting, “Adoption against abortion,” and “No discrimination against girl child.”

The march was organised by the All India Association for Abolition of Discrimination Against the Girl Child and the Michael Job Centre for Orphan Girls in Coimbatore. It was supported by local colleges and schools as well as local and international pro-life organisations from the United States, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and Romania.

The rally was a major public witness against the commonly held idea, often supported by the media in India, that girl children are a financial burden, particularly with the problem of providing dowries.

The rally highlighted other anti-woman cultural problems, including that of “dowry deaths,” murders of women whose dowries are considered too small by in-laws. According to the Michael Job Center, husbands who should be the protector of their wives turn a blind eye when their “revered” mothers and sisters and other relatives resort to murder.

According to UN reports, as many as 5 million children are aborted in India each year.  Despite laws banning ultrasounds to determine the sex of an unborn child, the abortion industry routinely targets unwanted girl babies, resulting in one of the world's worst cases of population gender imbalance.


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