Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to block ads for selecting the sex of babies in India

Gender-selection services are illegal in India, which has one of the worst gender imbalances in the world.

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Volunteers hold an abandoned baby girl found at a drop-off box at the entrance to a Red Cross House in India. The project is designed to curb female infanticide in the country.

NARINDER NANU/AFP/Getty Images

Google, Microsoft and Yahoo have agreed to ban adverts in India that promote services to help parents determine and decide the sex of their unborn babies.

The three US companies were reprimanded by the country's Supreme Court earlier this year for not helping to uphold a law that has been in place since 1994 that makes conducting, selling or advertising sex-selection services a punishable offense. They have now all pledged to uphold the ban, the Indian health ministry told the court on Monday, according to a Bloomberg report.

India has one of the world's worst gender imbalances due to widespread female foeticide and infanticide caused by the fact that many parents prefer to have sons.

Google, Microsoft and Yahoo all initially said that it would be too difficult to ban the services without also banning relevant news and non-promotional content on the subject, but have now agreed to uphold the ban anyway.

It is not known how the companies will implement the ban. None of the companies responded immediately to a request for comment.

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