Doctor in Mysuru arrested for conducting 242 illegal abortions

The Byappanahalli police arrested a doctor who allegedly had conducted more than 900 abortions over the past three years at a hospital in Mysuru. Chandan Ballal, a doctor along with his lab technician Nisar had conducted over 242 illegal abortions over the past three months.

Although, it is not clear that the abortions were conducted after the sex of the foetus was disclosed by the radiologist or because of some other reasons. The incidents confirmed the women lack authority or propriety over their own reproductive health.

The determination of sex of the foetus is banned under the Preconception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act. Female foeticide is a criminal offence in India like as dowry. But both of these social evils continue to prevail in the country because of a deeply ingrained patriarchal mindset.

“We know for a fact that female foeticide continues, with women being pushed into illegal and unsafe abortions. In the early 1980s-90s, Mandya was a hotbed of this evil practice because of its male dominated agrarian economy. In the early 70s, it was female infanticide. There were instances where girl children were killed by their families and made to look like an accident. Girls have traditionally been looked down upon as the weaker sex. With the advent of technology, ultrasound scans which are used to determine the health of the foetus started being used for sex determination and sex selective births. There were illegal clinics and nursing homes in Mandya bearing feminine names to sound women-friendly, but were actually illegal abortion centres,” said Donna Fernandes, a well-known women’s activist.

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