E-mail: moc. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. The Act was enacted in , amended and effectively implemented in and strictly amended in The effective implementation of The Act has painted a grim picture of The Act.
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Sex Selection is the act of identifying the gender of the foetus and the elimination of the unwanted sex of an offspring. It is an attempt to control the sex of the offspring and achieve the desired sex. In India, a male child has always been preferred over a female child, from time immemorial.
This was mainly due to the prevalence of a patriarchal mindset and also the rules of inheritance that favoured the male. It is disheartening that even after 69 years of Independence, in this 21st Century, the craze for a male child has not died down and there still exists selection of the favoured sex and aborting the female child. If statistics are to be believed 1,00, abortions are carried out each year, solely because the foetus is a female.
The present sex ratio of India is females per men As per the Census and it is considerably low across many states in India. For instance, Dhiman and Behrana villages of Haryana have been recorded to have a dangerously low sex ratio of and respectively, the lowest sex ratios in India. It is to be noted that causing a miscarriage of a woman is an offence under the Indian Penal Code, whether it is with her consent or without her consent.
This penal provision being very wide definitely covers female foeticide where if it is known that the unborn child is a female, the miscarriage may be caused and also infanticide where a female infant may be killed but does not explicitly cover sex selection and abortion in its ambit. Thus, India passed its first law against abortion, the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act in which made abortion legal only in very specific circumstances such as the medical risk to the mother or pregnancy due to rape.
It also established the procedure to be followed by the physicians and the facilities where abortions can be performed. The basic loophole in this statute was that the law did not anticipate the increase in sex-selective abortion based on the advancement of technology. Diagnostic Techniques Act It is a statute which is preventive in nature. While preventing the people and unregistered medical centres from using techniques to detect and select a test, the Act also prevents companies and dealers from making any unauthorized supply, sale, distribution or rent of any equipment which can be used for such purposes.
It gives out the grounds for the use of prenatal diagnostic techniques which include genetic and chromosomal abnormalities, metabolic disorders, congenital malformations, haemoglobinopathies and sex-linked disorders. It prevents any laboratory or clinic to perform any test of ultrasonography for the purpose of determination of the sex of the foetus. This Act also makes mandatory the registration of all diagnostic laboratories, genetic counselling centres and laboratories, genetic and ultrasound clinics.
Very recently, on 16th November , the Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra directed search engines such as Google, Microsoft, Yahoo to take down all advertisements and links on pre-natal and pre-conception sex determination within 36 hours as they were in direct violation of the PNDT Act, The sex ratio is going down in the country and we are concerned about that.
Whether you are making money or not we are not concerned with that. This Act was a positive step in the right direction to curb the menace of female foeticide and abortion of the unwanted foetus. This is very necessary for a country like ours, where thousands of female children suffer from the regressive mindset of society at large through this rampant gendercide.
At the end of the day, laws are meant to protect its citizens from the abuse of human rights and this law is a progressive check on a society where girls are sentenced to death even before they are born.
Preconception & Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994
Equality and symbolic representation of women were historically farfetched in every field. The insult and injury that a girl child has to bear in the family is humiliating, and her journey to the descent to hell continues. A girl child is thought of as a wastage, a liability which people want to dispose of completely so that the burden can be nipped in the bud at its very inception. Though God the Almighty was thought to have daughters who descended upon the universe as Goddesses, human beings hated to possess female children of their own.
Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994
The Act prohibits prenatal sex determination. In the 90s, Ultrasound techniques became very popular in India. In our country, there has been a tendency to have children until the birth of a male child but now it has changed due to the awareness created by various Governments, NGOs, and Social groups. The misuse of ultrasound to determine prenatal sex has led to a thriving industry worth billions of people. The technique has also increased social discrimination against women.
The PC-PNDT act in a nutshell
Originally, disease detection was the primary function of the machine. In India, families preferred male child over the female child. Because of social discrimination of women and preference of male over females, therefore a huge gap has occurred in the sex ratio of our country. After over a decade in , they amended and implemented the act strictly. Prohibition of sale and use of ultrasound machines were the primary functions of the act. In short, only registered facilities can use ultrasound machines. Most Importantly, it prohibits the prenatal diagnostic techniques for the determination of sex.