Sex test on fetus could be made mandatory: IMA supports Smt. Maneka Gandhi’s viewpoint
New Delhi, February 6, 2016: Recent statements by Smt Maneka Gandhi, Union Minister for Women and Child Development Minister, indicate that a 20-year-old ban on fetal sex determination may be lifted. She referred to a point of view put forth by stakeholders before the Ministry that if each pregnancy could be registered and the sex of the fetus could be made known to the parents and if the same happens to be a female, the delivery should be tracked and recorded.
However, there is no formal proposal being considered by the Ministry on this issue at this stage. This is a suggestion that needs to be debated. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) supports this viewpoint.
India is among the countries with the worst child sex ratios in the world. The 2011 Census showed that the child sex ratio has dipped from 927 girls in 2001 to 919 girls in 2011. Child sex ratio shows the number of girls per 1,000 boys between the ages 0-6. The data proves that India has an abysmal record when it comes to reining in the cases of female feticide. Latest Census numbers also cast a shadow on the adequacy of measures, which are helping in educating people to not prefer sons over daughters. Reports said that with 919 girls per 1000 boys, child sex ration in India has reached its lowest levels since 1961. Hindus, who make up 80 percent of the population of the country, saw their child sex ratio come down from 925 to 913 between 2001-2011, in line with Muslims, Christians and Buddhists.
Sharing IMA’s viewpoint, Dr. SS Agarwal, National President IMA & Padma Shri Awardee Dr. K. K. Aggarwal, President, Heart Care Foundation of India and Honorary Secretary General IMA said, “Since, the PCPNDT Act, the sex ratio in the country has not changed. The Govt. should form working group of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Women and Child Development Ministry, IMA, FOGSI and Indian Radiological and Imaging Association (IRIA). These bodies should deliberate together on this and work out implementation of the guidelines.”