A new study presented in the Canadian Medical Association Journal and the CMAJ Open found there to be a deficit of over 4,400 girls over the last 20 years among Punjabi households. The study has called the deficit “missing girls” due abortion in the second trimester where the gender of the child can be determined.
The study looked at more than 6 million births of babies and found that Indian mothers give birth to far more boys then girls.
lead author of the story told The Canadian Star:
“The main implication is that among some immigrant communities, males are placed at a higher value than females. This is not just about abortions, it is about gender equality,” said lead author Marcelo Urquia of St. Michael’s Hospital. “I hope that this is conducive to a respectful debate on the value of girls and women in today’s Canadian society.”
His study newly exposes a relationship between induced abortions and the previously reported large numbers of boys among Ontario’s Indian community, said Urquia, noting the data likely explains an imbalance in the rest of Canada too. Some of the “deficit” of girls may be due to “implantation of male embryos,” said Urquia, but the data is insufficient.
While the natural odds of having a boy over a girl are slightly higher, they are consistent across the globe: up to 107 boys for every 100 girls. But Indian-born mothers living in Canada with two children had 138 boys for every 100 girls. In Ontario, that number inflated even more among Indian-born women with two daughters, who then gave birth to 196 boys for every 100 girls.
After abortions, the numbers rise dramatically: 326 boys after one abortion, 409 boys after multiple abortions, and 663 boys for every 100 girls following multiple abortions in the second trimester, when doctors can determine the sex of the fetus.
The Star further reported:
For Baldev Mutta, CEO of Brampton’s Punjabi Community Health Services, it’s a question he and other community leaders will have to face. With this new research, he says, it is “time for some soul searching,” in the country’s Indian community.
“This is something that we cannot hide anymore,” said Mutta, a proud father of two grown sons, one grown daughter, and grandfather of two girls. Born in Nairobi to Indian diplomat parents, Mutta came to Canada in 1968 after moving around the world. With an international perspective, Mutta has made an impact on the Brampton Indian community. He helped launch an initiative that flips the script on a traditional celebration called a “Lohri,” meant for celebrating the birth of a boy, but which Mutta and a group of young South Asian women have turned into a movement called Lohri For Her.
Read Further: The Star