India has a long history of preferring sons to daughters. The distribution of women versus men in society is heavily weighted towards males, even with the efforts of lawmakers to even out this distribution. It is really interesting that among higher classes this preference towards males tends to be more pronounced than in lower classes.
Because of this unequal distribution, lawmakers have made it illegal for India physicians to figure out the sex of fetuses in their mother’s womb. The hope is that without parents knowing the sex of their child, they’ll be less likely to abort a girl and carry it full term, helping to even out the population.
However, many physicians continue to offer services to tell the gender of an unborn child, despite the risks. For many doctors, the payout for offering to find the gender of a fetus is greater than the risk of being caught and punished by the government.
The actual extent of this law breaking is more or less unknown, but it’s thought to be very common. The business of finding genders and aborting females is thought to be worth more than $100 million in India.