Understanding foeticide and infanticide

What are foeticide and infanticide?
Foeticide is an act that causes the death of a foetus. Infanticide is the intentional killing
of infants.

Why does it take place?
In many parts of the world, the birth of a girl child is seen as something unfortunate, unwanted and even as a "dishonour." Families that subscribe to such beliefs tend to prefer a male child over a female child, and therefore, kill or cause the death of the female child.  

Female foeticide is a form of sex-selective abortion, where the pregnancy is terminated depending on the sex of the foetus. In many communities, following the determination of the sex of the baby as female, the pregnancy is either voluntarily or forcibly terminated through an abortion procedure. As a result, many countries banned the process of sex-determination of the foetus.

Female infanticide occurs where the baby, upon its birth and the discovery of its birth sex as female, is killed, or exposed to factors that lead to its death.

On the one hand, cultural beliefs and social attitudes informing gender are said to be a reason for these crimes. On the other hand, issues such as poverty, the dowry system, health and deformities, lack of resources and support and maternal illnesses such as postpartum depression are also said to be considered causes for their occurrence.

In the Media

Chennai, India