Renu*, 25, and her husband are an educated and affluent married couple from Rohtak, Haryana. Renu already had a daughter when she became pregnant for the second time. She had an abortion after an ultrasound scan indicated the foetus was female. She later went on to have a son.
"When I got pregnant the second time, I told my husband that if I am pregnant with a girl, I would abort it. I got my ultrasound done and they told me my baby was a girl. I paid 500 rupees (about £5) for another ultrasound to make absolutely sure. When it was confirmed I spent 3,000 rupees (£35) for an abortion.
"My husband and I fought over my desire to have an abortion. I told him that this society does not value girls and I do not want to give birth to another one. I told him that girls are a burden on the family.
"They have to face violence in all spheres of life. If the girl commits even a small mistake she and her entire family have to bear the burden. When I gave birth to my first daughter everyone pitied me. They all told me that I could not have a son.
"The taunts from society and from my in-laws that I would have faced for not having a son forced me to abort. I had no other option. Knowing the amount of harassment my baby would go through after her birth, I think it is much better to die."
*not her real name
photo : ©Sanjit Das/ActionAid