The Union Health Ministry has found that over 1200 baby girls have been killed in womb in illegal abortion clinic in Thiruvanamalai near here. The woman has absconded and officials recovered 1,200 slips presumably a record of the number of abortions done in her clinic in the last four months alone.
The doctor, Dr Selvambal was running a scan centre also for doing sex-determination tests which is banned.
Following an alert a member of the public about mushroom growth of such scan centres, deputy director from the Union Health Ministry Ajay Kumar accompanied by officials aided by the district administration and State medical officials, raided some of the scan centres and clinics n Thiruvanannamalai.
They sealed Dr Selvamabal's clinic and a few scan centres in the town. District collector K S Kandasamy said the doctor would be nabbed soon.The ,1200 slips recovered only recent abortions done. She must have been practicing for over four years, the collector said.
He regretted that such large-scale female infanticide was happening despite the Government's campaign on the need to nurture the girl child.
He said that though the law provides for stringent punishment for those who carry out such illegal operation, no much headway had been made because courts do not take it as a serious issue. As a result, the accused come out on bail.
During her earlier tenure as Chief Minister., J Jayalalitha started the cradle baby scheme to prevent rampant killing of girls in the womb, prevalent in southern district of Usilampatti. It enabled mothers who did not want to kill their babies in the womb to abandon them in the government run shelter. Since then, the Government has been carrying on a sustained campaign against this scourge.
Still, the practice is widespread, especially in rural areas Thiruvannamalai comes on top with still born girl children 10.4 per thousand against the state average of two.
The maternal mortality is also high because the women often go to quacks. Kandasamy said that 12 quacks have been arrested in raids done in the last couple of months.