Pre Natal Sex determination laws in India

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The Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 2003, commonly called PC-PNDT Act, makes it illegal to work out the sex of the unborn child or perhaps use sex-selection technologies. The law first came into force in 1996 because the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994, in response to the falling sex ratio and fears that ultrasound technologies were being employed to see the sex of the foetus. The law was amended in 2003 to bring the technique of preconception sex selection within the ambit of the Act – essentially, banning practices where medical practitioners attempt to influence the sex of the kid before conception by using techniques like sperm sorting (where a gamete is specifically chosen due to its sex chromosome). The law because it stands not only prohibits determination and disclosure of the sex of the foetus but also bans advertisements associated with preconception and prenatal determination of sex.

According to the Act, ultrasound clinics, genetic counselling centres and genetic laboratories can't be used for conducting pre-natal diagnostic techniques apart from detecting abnormalities like chromosomal abnormalities, genetic metabolic diseases, sex-linked genetic diseases and congenital anomalies. The Act makes it mandatory for all ultrasound facilities to be registered and for medical practitioners to take care of records of each scan done on pregnant women.

Since 2000, both high courts and also the Supreme Court have delivered a series of judgments, taking a heavy view of sex-selective practices by the medical fraternity and also the connection it's going to have with skewed sex ratios. In September 2001, following a public interest litigation – filed by the Centre for the Enquiry of Health and Allied Themes, rights group Mahila Sarvangeen Utkarsh Mandal and Dr Sabu George, who had been pushing for the effective implementation of the PMDT Act — the Supreme Court passed an order for strict implementation of the Act and reiterated it again in September 2003.

The rate of conviction has been poor. From 2003 to December 2014, only 206 doctors had been convicted by courts, of which Maharashtra had the very best number at 96, followed by Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana. a minimum of 15 states and 4 union territories had zero convictions of these years.

According to experts, the matter isn’t with the Act but with its implementation. State advisory committees that help in implementing the Act don't meet regularly. Besides, there's poor monitoring of ultrasound clinics. Such clinics are required to keep up records of the scans they conduct but the violators are often justify with a fine.

In 1994, the Parliament of India enacted the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act also called the Prohibition of Sex Selection Act. As per the Act, it's illegal to use any technique to spot the sex of a foetus after conception. This came into action to stop the abortion of female fetuses, which continues to be a typical practice in India.

Some of the foundations of the act are as follows:

Prohibition of sex determination and selection by any techniques like ultrasound and amniocentesis

Sex of the fetus can't be communicated in any way by any parties

Diagnostic techniques is done only by qualified professionals

All institutions effecting tests must be registered under the act

Institutions must display their approval certificate

Prior to any tests, relevant forms must be filled and documented

The patient and doctor must sign a declaration

All institutions must display a notice indicating that sex determination or selection is prohibited under the law

Violation of the act by any party is punishable by imprisonment for a term and a fine

The 2011 population census in India revealed that there are only 940 females to each 1000 males in India. The sex ratio is extremely skewed within the western Indian states of Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan.

Although sex-selective abortion is unlawful and feminine foeticide leads to long prison sentences these practices continue within the country.

The skewed ratio is spread across the country, with many urban centers showing the identical level of gender imbalance as rural centers. this means that the preference for male children trumps the fear of the state. Although the ban on ultrasound testing (that identifies the gender of the fetus) was banned in 1996 and also the PCPNDT Act has been in effect since 1994, it absolutely was only in 2006 that a doctor and his assistant were convicted for foetal sex determination.

Many ultrasound and scan centers within the country still do diagnostic techniques that reveal the gender of the fetus.

In India, it's common for families to prefer raising boys. the assumption driving this preference is that sons make sure of the family while daughters leave the family after marriage. As per cultural norms, boys are viewed as an ‘asset’, while raising a woman is costlier thanks to dowry and lack of monetary return within the future.

This cultural sanctioning of female abortion ensures that those involved within the practice escape scot-free. In many cases, neither sex-selective abortion nor the act of female foeticide come to light. Another startling aspect of the sex selection process is that the use of medication to assist change the gender of the fetus. These drugs, going by the names of ‘Shivlingi’ and ‘Majuphal’ contain high amounts of testosterone and natural steroids. they're sold across the counter in north Indian states like Haryana. The administration of those drugs has resulted in foetal deaths and a rise within the number of stillborn babies, not to mention the physical and emotional toll it takes on the mothers. Men and ladies are both complicit within the sex selection process because the birth of a daughter in many homes is treated adore a funeral.

The Indian government offers many programs to combat this social evil including providing educational scholarships for girl children. They even offer cash transfers to parents who haven't forced their girls into an underaged marriage (unmarried till the age of 18). States like provinces have schemes where the fogeys can leave unwanted children in designated centers to assist combat the feminine foeticide problems.

Despite these measures, statistics show that the country's gender imbalance still exists.