Maneka Gandhi: Make sex determination mandatory

2 Feb 2016 | By Gaurav

Women and Child Development (WCD) Minister Maneka Gandhi made a pitch to make sex determination tests mandatory for pregnant women in India.

The move would require the government to amend the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, which comes under the Health Ministry.

She stated that "we have proposed this in front of all parties and ministers" and are awaiting their opinions.

In context: Sex determination to save the girl child

The LawWhat is the PCPNDT Act?

In 1971, abortion was made legal in India when the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act was passed with an aim to reduce illegal abortion.

Rampant misuse of the act led to widespread female foeticide in the country, prompting the government to adopt the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act in 1994.

The act made determination of the gender of the foetus illegal in India.

Punishment What are the punishments for violating this law?

A medical practitioner may get an imprisonment for a term that may extend to three years, a fine that may extend up to Rs.10,000 and suspension of medical license for five years.

Subsequent violations would invite permanent cancelation of the license.

Any person who seeks the aid of professionals to conduct sex determination faces imprisonment for 3 years and a fine up to Rs.50,000.

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2 Feb 2016Maneka Gandhi: Make sex determination mandatory

Justification How will the plan reduce female foeticide?

Maneka Gandhi's plan to make sex determination mandatory, seeks to improve government monitoring on child births in India.

By making sex determination mandatory, she seeks to register the child and mother at the time of determination and track the mother throughout the pregnancy phase.

She added that by tracking, not only can the government keep illegal abortions in check, but also improve prenatal healthcare.