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The advertisement seems innocuous enough: A pregnant woman's belly with a male symbol scrawled in ink to the right of her navel and a female symbol to the left.

But in India, where the practice of aborting female fetuses is widespread, such advertisements for prenatal gender selection kits are neither innocuous nor legal.

Last month, activist Sabu George filed a petition against the Indian subsidiaries of Google, Microsoft and Yahoo with the nation's highest court, asking the companies to pull gender selection advertisements from their Indian search engines. On Aug. 13, the Supreme Court asked the companies to respond to the petition.

The response is yet to come, but the day after the court's order, the offending ads vanished from the Web, George said. On Thursday, however, they began to reappear on Google.

The company is, George said, "breaking the law and making money. Every time you click on that ad, Google is making money."

If you typed in the words "sex" and "selection" on Google India on Thursday, up popped a sponsored link to Urobiologics LLC, a U.S. company...