In India, 7000 unborn girls are aborted every day, just because they are girls! Because of this heinous practice, India ranks fourth in the list of countries with the worst Child Sex Ratio.
In this issue we highlight seven important provisions under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 1994 which was enacted by the Parliament of India to prohibit sex selection and arrest the declining sex ratio in India.
- No laboratory or genetic counselling centre or genetic clinic is permitted to conduct any test including ultrasonography for the purpose of determining the sex of the foetus. Thus, sex-selection is prohibited both before and after conception.
- The use of pre-natal diagnostic techniques such as ultrasound and amniocentesis by sonographers are permitted only to detect Genetic abnormalities, Metabolic disorders, Chromosomal abnormalities, certain Congenital malformations, Haemoglobinopathies and Sex-linked disorders.
- It is illegal for any person, including sonographers and other healthcare professionals to communicate the sex of the foetus to the pregnant woman or her relatives by words, signs or any other method.
- Any person who puts out an advertisement for sex determination facilities in any form and through any media, or engages in any visible representation, can be imprisoned for up to three years and also be fined.
- Registration of all diagnostic laboratories, all genetic counselling centres, genetic laboratories, genetic clinics and ultrasound clinics is compulsory.
- The prominent display of a signboard that “detection/revelation of the sex of the foetus is illegal” is mandatory in all ultrasonography units.
- Failure to maintain records such as the Form F (a mandatory record containing information of a pregnant person undergoing an ultrasound, such as previous children and obstetric history) or a failure to preserve the records for a period of 2 years are punishable offences.
What can you do to save our vanishing girls and show that you CARE?
C – Conversations: Engage on social media; host an event or organize a training.
A – Ask Questions: (i) File RTIs, download a sample RTI here. (ii) Join a campaign demanding justice for unborn girls.
R – Report Violations: Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to guide you.
E – Ensure Equality & Dignity for Girls: Sign the pledge; write a will equally dividing your property between your sons and daughters.
You would be happy to know that Mrs. Tehmina Arora, Director, ADF India was nominated on October 9, 2020, as a member of the Advisory Committee for the Delhi State Appropriate Authority under the PCPNDT Act which includes medical and legal experts and eminent social workers.
Under Section 17(5) and 17(6) of the Act, the Committee was constituted by a notification of the Directorate of Family Welfare, Govt. of NCT. The Committee will aid and advise the Appropriate Authority in the discharge of its function for a tenure of three years.
The Vanishing Girls campaign is an initiative of ADF India that aims to eradicate sex-selection in our lifetime and save the lives of thousands of girls who are selectively aborted every day. We are advocating for the strict enforcement of the Prohibition of Sex-Selection Act.