Old report about female infanticide in India recycled as new
News was originally reported back in 2019
Claim: No girls were born in the past three months across 132 villages in India due to female infanticide.
Fact: The news was first reported on 23 July 2019. While true, it is not recent and, therefore, misleading.
On 31 August 2023, X (formerly known as Twitter) user @Sisi_Yemmie tweeted (archive) a screenshot of what appears to be a TikTok video with the text, “No girls born in 3 months across 132 villages in India due to female infanticide” superimposed on the top side.
The screenshot is from a news bulletin, which contains three lines of text:
- A headline ticker of the news report being spoken about: “India sex-selective abortion”.
- A subheading ticker of the same news: “No girl was born in three months in 132 villages: report”.
- A news crawler: “Theresa May addresses Parliament for the last time as PM”.
The tweet — which has been viewed more than 1.2 million times as of writing time — has over 250 comments, 2,400 reposts (formerly retweets), and 3,000 likes. It is captioned as follows:
“Do you know how crazy and sad this is? All baby girls born in the last 3 months have been killed.”
Fact or Fiction?
Soch Fact Check searched for news related to “sex-selective abortion” in India and any reports stating, “No girl was born in three months in 132 villages.”
We found the news reports about no girls being born in India on Al Jazeera (archive) and The Independent (archive), where it was published on 23 July 2019. The woman seen reporting on the ground for the channel is Neha Poonia, a journalist based in New Delhi, India, whose X bio says she is a “TV & radio correspondent for @ChannelNewsAsia.”
On 24 July 2019, Poonia wrote (archive): “India’s state of #Uttarakhand has flagged several villages as ‘red zones’ after no girls were born in 132 villages in 3 months. In 16 villages, no girls born in 6 months. Official [sic] call this ‘worrying’, order a probe to get to the bottom of this. I’m live next on @ChannelNewsAsia”.
India's state of #Uttarakhand has flagged several villages as 'red zones' after no girls were born in 132 villages in 3 months. In 16 villages, no girls born in 6 months. Official call this 'worrying', order a probe to get to the bottom of this.
I'm live next on @ChannelNewsAsia
— Neha Poonia (@NehaPoonia) July 24, 2019
A Foreign Policy opinion piece (archive) states that Uttarkashi District Magistrate Ashish Chauhan “chanced upon the figures while monitoring the work of female health workers in the region” known as Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs).
It also states that the sex-selective abortions are believed to be due to “societal preference for male children” and because girls are “considered ‘unwanted’ by their families, who continue to have children until a son is born”.
Furthermore, the screenshot shows a news crawler about Theresa May, a British lawmaker and former prime minister of the United Kingdom who served from July 2016 to July 2019.
May delivered her final speech on 24 July 2019, the day after the aforementioned Al Jazeera report.
Lastly, we also tallied the screenshot with the livestream on the YouTube channel of CNA, a Singapore-based news outlet formerly known as Channel NewsAsia.
Conclusion: The news was first reported on 23 July 2019. While true, it is not recent and, therefore, misleading.
Background image in cover photo: Vishnu Nishad
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