“Our study seems to indicate that some parents of Indian origin are practising sex-selective abortion,” said researcher Are Hugo Pripp at the national hospital (Rikshospitalet) to newspaper VG.
The study, which looks specifically at the third and fourth children born to mothers of Indian and Pakistani origin from 1969 to 2005, shows that the ratio of girls to boys changed dramatically among Indian-Norwegian mothers after ultrasound scans became available in Norway in 1987.
Before the arrival of ultrasound technology, Indian-Norwegian mothers gave birth to 108 girls for every 100 boys.
After 1987, the ratio fell to 65 girls per 100 boys for Indian mothers while remaining relatively stable at pre-1987 levels for their Pakistani-Norwegian counterparts.
Health Minister Anne-Grete Strøm Erichsen (Labour Party) said she was surprised by the findings, which were initially published in 2010, and would refer the matter to the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision (Helsetillsynet).
“These are surprising numbers. Removing a healthy child because it has the wrong sex – it’s almost impossible to believe,” said Strøm Erichsen.
“Sex-selective abortion in completely unacceptable. The equality of the sexes is absolutely fundamental.”