Sunday, August 19, 2007

India Awakes: New Legislation Prohibits Abusive Sex Selection

India takes one more step to protect coming generations from the danger of social imbalance in population. Reporting through various media sources are continuously, blowing whistles that there has been an enormous increase in the cases of killing of girl fetuses across the country. Leaders, social thinkers, and lawmakers have now taken a strong step in the form of a new legislation. “Pre – Natal Diagnostic Techniques Improvisation Act -2002 “was enacted on 14th February, 2002. This act was changed and amended considerably and renamed as “Pre - Conception and Pre - Natal Diagnostic Technique (Ban on Sex-selection) Act. “
National Population Policy (2000) aims at stabilizing the gender balanced population. Not only this, the policy also focuses on certain other key issues simultaneously. These issues include saving child life, mother’s health and contraception (preventing the pregnancy), expansion (dispersion) of education and raising the systems of life standards, cleanliness and hygiene, pure and safe drinking water etc. Objectives of this policy do impress upon woman- empowerment and to generating employment opportunities.
The new Act prohibits sex-selection before or after pregnancy. It however does not limit or prohibit the application of sex determination techniques like Ultra-Sound etc., if they are necessary for diagnosis of any genetic or other sex related disorders. The Act in fact provides the regulations to control the abusive implementation of techniques. It aims to stop those improper sex determination techniques that lead to the development of sexually imbalanced society and to stop the girl foetus killings.
Anyone, who demands, opts and extends any help in sex-determination for any unjustifiable reason, is a criminal under the purview of this act. Such a person is liable for a punishment even for his/her first attempt. The conviction may include a sentence for an imprisonment up to three years and a cash penalty of Rs. 50,000.00.
The Doctor found to be helping any person with his services in any way is equally responsible for his misconduct and abusing his duty and responsibility towards society. The doctor will be suspended of its duties and responsibilities if found guilty. The council may also decide to remove the name of the Doctor from its Membership and Registration register.

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