India Orders Google, Yahoo, Microsoft to Block Sex-Selection Abortion Ads
INDIA, September 26, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - With an order from the Indian Supreme Court threatening to shut down Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo! unless they stop carrying ads for prenatal gender testing that have led to millions of abortions of female unborn babies and a chronic imbalance of genders, the three IT giants grudgingly agreed to block 22 related key words.
The agreement to comply led Steven Mosher of the Virginia-based Population Research Institute to say, "Now that these Internet giants ban ads for one kind of abortion, we should encourage them to ban ads for all forms of abortion." He added, "Abortion is the greatest poverty, as St. Teresa of Calcutta so often reminded us."
Google told Indian media: "Keeping in mind the sensitivities attached to this issue and to ensure that technology is used in right earnest to curb this retrograde practice, we have decided to disable certain terms from appearing as autocomplete predictions as well as display a warning message on relevant searches to inform users of the unlawful nature of this subject."
Earlier, the companies reportedly argued before the court that banning the words would impede research and also prevent people from searching for news stories on the subject, but the Supreme Court found the companies in clear violation of the 1994 law banning prenatal gender testing.
Though sex-selective abortions were banned a decade earlier, both laws are so widely flouted that UNICEF has reported that according to data up to 2005 there were 7,000 female babies aborted daily in India. To describe the mounting practice of sex-selection abortion - made possible by the increasing availability of ultrasound in India and China - the term "gendercide" was invented.
Indian gendercide is particularly acute in the middle class, according to Mosher. Among members of this class, 800 girls are born annually for every 1,000 males. "The lowest recorded number of girls is found in some high-caste areas urban areas of Punjab, where only 300 girls per 1,000 boys survive gestation," Mosher noted.
In the Indian population as a whole, the imbalance appears less severe, but is increasing. The BBC reported, "In 1961, there were 976 girls for every 1,000 boys under the age of seven. According to the latest census figures released in 2011, that figure had dropped to 914."
According to Dr. Mitu Khorana, the gap between law and practice is reflected even with the judicial system itself. More than a decade after the law was passed against sex-selection prenatal testing, she filed the first complaint under the law. And now, a decade after that, she told LifeSiteNews, her complaint has still not advanced to the trial stage.
Khorana alleges her ex-husband, also a doctor, caused her to fall ill while pregnant so that he could arrange for friends to test for the gender of their offspring while she was in hospital for treatment. Discovering she was carrying female twins, she alleges that he then assaulted her to cause a miscarriage.
Khurana told LifeSite that the bias against female babies is due to a dowry system that requires fathers to provide cash to the groom's family when their daughters marry, and the presumption that sons rather than daughters are responsible for caring for parents in their old age.
Khurana also told LifeSite that when men outnumber women, "there is more violence, more rape, more sex trafficking, (and) more polyandry."
No charges have been made against Google, Yahoo and Microsoft by Indian law enforcement. The case reached the Supreme Court only because activist George Sabu petitioned privately.
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