Maharashtra might become the first Indian state to make sex determination tests mandatory!

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This is shocking!

Last year in February, Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi said that sex determination tests should be made compulsory in order to keep a control on female foeticide.

"A proposal is under discussion in the Cabinet to evolve a system that can easily track attempts at female foeticide (by parents) instead of punishing the fraternity involved in the medical processes.Those registering the sex of the foetus will have to produce a medical certificate or cite the reason for termination of pregnancy," Maneka said at a conference a statement in the Times of India.

Now it looks like states want to take measures to put a plan under process. In fact, news reports suggest that Maharashtra could be the first state to make sex determination tests mandatory. Yes, that's right.

 

The lead has been taken by the Maharashtra Public Accounts Committee headed by Congress MLA Gopaldas Agarwal. The committee was researching about the sex-selective abortions in Maharashtra and that's how they came up with this solution to curb them.

“The panel wants to end female foeticide, and by tracking women pregnant with female foetuses, we can ensure they do not abort them,” said Agarwal in a statement.

Agarwal also stated that the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques or PC-PNDT Act, which makes sex-determination illegal, has miserably failed.

“We have penalised doctors under the Act, but the sex-ratio is not improving. We need to make sure that families who do not want girls to be born are scared of the law. Right now the doctor is a criminal for revealing the gender of the foetus. If we keep on accusing doctors, they will stop doing sonography," he added.

The report, tabled in the Assembly on 9 April, said: “When parents come for sonography, compulsory sex determination must be allowed and follow-ups must be done at the local level to ensure the couples come for further check-ups. It is necessary to visit these couples at home if they stop check-ups.”

Implications

According to census 2011 data that was revealed in 2015, India’s child sex ratio (the number of girls aged 0-6 years for every 1,000 boys in the same age group) was recorded at 918. It clearly shows that there has been a decline in the child sex ratio and currently it is the lowest since 1961 (when it was recorded at 976).

In 2010, the sex ratio in Maharashtra was 854 girls per 1,000 boys. However, it went up to 919 in 2014.

Needless to say, NGOs and social organizations have condemned the passage of such a proposal, practically because it is impossible to keep a track of a pregnant woman in India. People might fill in fake addresses and phone numbers just to get a sex determination test done and later when they find out that it's a girl, they might abort the foetus.

Moreover, research on the active tracker device (a set-top box to record the tests conducted by the ultrasound machines), says that they have not really helped in improving the sex ratio or identifying cases of PCPNDT violations.

Do you think that sex determination tests be made mandatory in India? Tell us!

Also Read: As India celebrates Navratri, a baby girl is buried alive by her OWN parents

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