Sex Determination Test – Fine and Jail for offenders
The 2011 Indian Census has revealed a shocking truth – the ratio of between women men has fallen (917 – 1000). This is probably due to the fact that women per se are considered a sub species and this is best reflected in the continued illegal activities of unscrupulous medical practitioners, as well as, fly by night operators who offer Medical Sex Determination Tests for a fee.
This is a test done on a pregnant woman with the help of an ultrasound machine to determine if the foetus is male or female. If it is the latter, the couple trot off to a friendly neighbourhood nursing home for a quick abortion.
Apparently a girl child even in modern India is considered a liability because : She needs to be protected; She has to be married off at an early age to avoid the honour of the family being sullied by a local cockerel; And dowry also needs to be given. So why have the child? (This happens in many cases).
On Saturday 4th June, 2011, an amendment to the Indian Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques Act will come into effect. Henceforth, the authorities will be empowered to seize all unregistered ultrasound machines that can detect the sex of an unborn child. A first time offender will have to pay a fine of around US$ 200 and face a maximum three year jail term. A repeat offender will have to pay US$1200/- and jail time of five years.
It has been reported that some registered medical practitioners have been jailed in the past for carrying out this illegal test.
One hopes that the Indian Union Health Ministry’s aggressive move will stop this horrible practice.
Note: Upto March 2011 there were 41,182 registered ultrasound machines in India. The estimated unregistered machines number over a 100,000 ! Hopefully the culling of female foetuses will end will the new law. (?)
BTW this is also known to happen among Indian expats in USA, Canada and the U.K. 😦