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Determination of Sex of the Foetus

Things to remember

  • Sex -selection, before or after conception is prohibited
  • Sex selection means any form of procedure, technique, test, prescription for ensuring that the embryo will be of a particular sex
  • Any gynecological or medical procedures such as ultrasound, etc is regulated by law
  • No laboratories, hospitals, clinic or any doctor can conduct any test on a woman for the purposes of determining the sex of a foetus
  • Any person doing so is punishable under the law
  • A woman cannot be compelled by her husband or any relative to undergo such tests for determination of sex of the foetus
  • Disclosing of sex of foetus in any manner by word, action, etc is punishable under the law
  • It is discrimination against the girl child
  • It is also an Unethical medical practice.
  • Adverse socio-economic and health implications.
    • A woman's health suffers as she is forced to undergo multiple pregnancies arid abortions.
    • Decreasing number of females in the society can increase sex-related crimes and violence against women.
    • Such imbalances are also likely to cause a rise in social problems like dowry, forced polyandry, rape, child marriages, bride selling arid kidnapping of women for marriage.

Medical Termination of Pregnancy

  • Abortion is legal under certain circumstances but must be done according to the law.
  • Forcing a woman to terminate the pregnancy is an offence.

When is abortion legal?

  • If continuing the pregnancy involves a risk to the mother's life.
  • Continuing pregnancy would cause grave damage to the physical or mental health of the mother.
  • The pregnancy has been caused by rape.
  • If the child is born, it would be gravely deformed.
  • Any method of family planning adopted by the couple has failed.

Who can terminate pregnancy?

  • It should be done only in a Government hospital or in a hospital or clinic authorized by the Government.
  • Only a qualified doctor is authorized to terminate pregnancy.
  • Abortion carried on by mid-wives, nurses or quacks is illegal.

When can the pregnancy be terminated?

  • Pregnancy can be terminated before 12 weeks from conception.
  • If the pregnancy exceeds twelve weeks, then it can be terminated only on the advice of two doctors.
  • Pregnancy cannot be terminated if it exceeds twenty weeks.

Source: National Commission for Women



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