No, This is Not How We Educate People About Female Foeticide

Activists in Rajasthan say videos meant to educate on female foeticide end up being anti abortion and regressive.

2 min read
No, This is Not How We Educate People About Female Foeticide

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A group of health activists, women’s groups and civil society organisations in Rajasthan have written to Union Health Minister JP Nadda demanding that two videos that are meant to educate about female foeticide be withdrawn. What the videos end up doing instead is promote anti abortion sentiments and are anti women, write the activists.

The two videos titled ‘Daughters are Precious’ and ‘Community Engagement for Saving Daughters in Rajasthan’ bear the logo of the National Health Mission (NHM) and include credits to the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) cell of the National Health Mission, Rajasthan.

The videos that follow the growth of the foetus over several weeks, refer to the foetus as a ‘baby.’

They write,

The text refers to the foetus as “baby” and states developmental milestones... The video also provides voice to the foetus who “speaks” to the mother. The video at the point of three months into the pregnancy has the foetus saying “why are you so worried... I don’t like this doctor... But his mother and doctor are already discussing how to KILL him.

The video then leads on to explain how abortion is carried out, listing vaccum suction method, the cutting up method, the surgical method and the salt method.

The activists take objection to the way these methods are described.

‘Like a vacuum cleaner cleaning up dirt, the baby comes out in little pieces!’ ‘The doctor just slice the baby to pieces inside the mother.’ ‘Baby is burnt to death.’

The activists say the videos are anti abortion and using terms like killing and murder and referring to the foetus as a baby is problematic. These terms are regressive and stigmatise abortion and those who seek them.

Rajasthan has among the worst female foeticide rates in the country and education is important, states the letter. We just need to find better ways to do it.

Ultimately, they’ve demanded that these videos be withdrawn.

"We urge the NHM and the PC&PNDT Cell, Rajasthan to urgently review the content and public messaging and strategies against sex selection and for enabling access to safe abortion, towards ensuring that these are not biased and moralistic.”

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

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Topics:  Female Foeticide   Anti Abortion   MTP Act 

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