The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Saturday came out in support of Union Minister Maneka Gandhi’s suggestion to make pre-natal sex determination compulsory to check female foeticide.
The IMA said the recent statement by the Union Women and Child Development Minister indicates that a 20-year old ban on foetal 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 foetus 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 and this is a suggestion that needs to be debated. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) supports this viewpoint,” the doctor’s body said in a statement on Saturday.
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The minister’s suggestion that pre-natal sex determination test be made compulsory to check female foeticide evoked sharp reaction from the activists and the netizens.
India is among the countries with the worst child sex ratio 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 is the number of girls per 1,000 boys between the age 0-6 year.
“The data proves that India has an abysmal record when it comes to reining in the cases of female foeticide. Latest Census numbers also cast a shadow on the adequacy of measures which are helping in educating people to not prefer sons over daughters,” said National President of IMA, Dr S S Agarwal.
Reports said that with 919 girls per 1000 boys, child sex ratio in India has reached its lowest levels since 1961.
“Since the PC-PNDT Act, the sex ratio in the country has not changed. The government should form working group of Ministry of Health, 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,” Dr KK Aggarwal, Secretary General of IMA, said.