NEW DELHI (ChurchMilitant.com) - India's sex-selective abortion holocaust astronomically eclipses COVID-19 fatalities, with up to 22 million female babies estimated to have been massacred in the last three decades, according to a new study in The Lancet.
Writing in the world's most prestigious medical journal, seven Indian researchers posit "a total of between 13.5 million and 22.1 million missing female births from 1987 to 2016" due to sex-selective abortion — a consequence of "daughter aversion."
India accounts for half of the world's suppressed female births. The trend "continues to increase" and "should be a cause for serious alarm," the Lancet editorial noted.
"This ongoing slaughter of unborn baby girls dwarfs the number of recent COVID-19 deaths. It is a human tragedy of enormous proportions that will haunt India for generations," social scientist Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute (PRI) told Church Militant.
"Since 1990, approximately 15.8 million women have gone 'missing' from annual birth cohorts," a 2019 PRI report revealed. "We at PRI are confident that our number of 15.8 million missing girls in India is close to the mark," Mosher said.
India conducted 12.7 million sex-selective abortions between 2000 and 2014, according to Mosher's 65-page report, which lamented, "Since 2014, approximately 550,000 girls go 'missing' from the birth cohorts every year due to the practice of sex-selective abortion and other forms of prenatal sex selection."
Among other factors for daughter aversion, religious groups like Hindus display a higher preference for sons, who are valued for carrying out funeral rites for their parents (as most Hindus believe that a son must fulfill this role). PRI reported that Hindu women are, therefore, "significantly more likely than non-Hindu women to resort to abortion."
Church Militant asked statistician and mathematician Dr. Will Jones to put the abortion versus COVID-19 fatality figures in global perspective.
"Around 1.8 million people died worldwide with COVID-19 in 2020, according to the official tally. Yet this is eclipsed by the number of unborn children whose lives are ended by abortion each year — an estimated 73.3 million in 2019," Jones explained.
"The figures show that abortion is the leading cause of death and responsible for more than half of deaths that year," continued Jones. "COVID kills mainly the old and frail. But abortion kills those just starting out on life. Yet the pandemic of abortion continues, and far from being suppressed by governments, it is enthusiastically funded by them."
Around 27,000 people die every day in India, including 2,000 from diarrhea and 1,200 from tuberculosis (vaccinations for which have been disrupted by the pandemic), with diarrhea and pneumonia killing one child every two minutes.
Church Militant contacted a number of women leaders — including "feminist theologians" — from a wide spectrum of Indian denominations. While the women confirmed that the pro-life movement is virtually nonexistent in India, not one was willing to be quoted.
Vanishing Girls, a campaign initiated by the international advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom (India), has estimated a figure of 7,000 baby girls aborted in India daily — a figure proposed by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in 2007.
India prohibited sex selection with the Pre-Conception Pre-Natal Diagnostics Techniques (PCPNDT) Act in 1994, but as of 2017, the law produced a scant 449 convictions. The situation is, in fact, worsening in 80% of India's districts, according to United Nations officials.
In January 2020, India amended its abortion law, raising the upper limit for killing an unborn baby from 20 to 24 weeks of pregnancy. There is currently no gestational age limit for abortions in case of fetal abnormalities.
Emphasizing abortion as a "human right," the Union Cabinet minister for women and child development, Smriti Irani, called the updated law an act of "gender justice" and "an important aspect of reproductive health of women."
"India will now stand amongst nations with a highly progressive law which allows legal abortions on a broad range of therapeutic, humanitarian and social grounds," Irani boasted, failing to acknowledge the mounting genocide of female babies.
Catholic bishops conference president Abp. Oswald Gracias condemned the bill, insisting that "human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception."
"The Church is totally against abortion," Gracias stressed. "We certainly oppose the recent cabinet decision and cannot remain silent."
However, commentators note that India's largest Catholic community (from the southern state of Kerala) has adopted birth control "as a way of life, with couples widely adopting abortion as a means of birth control."
Former civil servant and legislator Alphons Kannanthanam said Catholics in Kerala had long ago adopted the government's family planning and birth control measures wholeheartedly and benefited from them.
"While I was collector of Kottayam for four years, I received the most support from Catholics in implementing family planning programs," Kannanthanam said.
"Though Catholics attend church every Sunday and revere the pope, when it comes to economic decision-making, they go by their own economic interests. Since fewer children make better economic sense, they naturally took to family planning and birth control in a big way," he explained.
The Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care warned in 2016 that the declining sex ratio in northern and northwestern Indian states indicates that there would be a bride crisis if female feticide continues unabated.