DOLAKHA, June 7: A hospital in Charikot paid out Rs 150,000 for aborting a fetus on the basis of sex determination. But it was not government action gainst the hospital for the illegal act.
The matter was that the doctors had earlier detected the fetus to be a girl. The parents from Jethal, Sindhupalchowk district, who were quite desperate for a boy then decided to abort.
Later when the dead fetus was taken out, they came to realize it was a boy instead. Then the hospital had to settle the matter with the shocked couple by offering them the money. The couple would have asked for more had the hospital not reminded them that they too would be held equally responsible for the illegal act.
It is not the first time the hospital has carried out illegal abortion. According to a staff in the hospital there is actually very long list of parents who have aborted babies on the basis of sex and this simply continues.
“Those who want a son come here to determine the sex of their baby. If it is a girl, they abort it,” he said. He however, has no knowledge of any case of abortion of baby boy for a girl.
“In case of teenage pregnancy or pregnancy before marriage, they abort without being concerned about the sex of the baby. Or else, the married couple have been found to abort only girl not boys,” he added.
The law allows abortion only under special condition. In addition, clinics and hospitals cannot handle abortion until and unless they are certified by the government for the job. The health department in Dolakha has provided such certificate to only five hospitals. However, the district health department admits that many clinics and hospitals carry out abortion.
“As it happens in mutual interest of the client and the doctors it is difficult to stop such things,” an official said. According to him, even the certified hospitals and doctors do not hesitate to practice abortion on the basis of sex determination.
Official data of the district health office shows 574 women aborted in the past one year.