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Raj Kumar Makkad (Adv P & H High Court Chandigarh)     14 May 2012

Sex determination, female foetus and satyemev jayte

abortion should not be referred to as ‘foeticide’, which has anti-abortion implications that we reject, for we believe that all women have the right to decide when and whether to bear and give birth to children. Making s*x selective abortions (wrongly referred to as ‘female foeticide’), a murder charge will only increase illegal abortions and also make access to safe abortion difficult for women, who already do not have many choices regarding their own reproductive rights. Safe and legal abortion is a woman’s right. Abortion is legal in India. The MTP Act, 1971 spells out the conditions under which it can be carried out.


Sex selective abortion however, amounts to discrimination against a particular s*x, in most cases, the female s*x. Sex selection in favour of the boy child is a symptom of devaluation of female lives.


It is important to remember that those who want to use abortion for elimination of the female foetus have to first determine the s*x of the child. Rightly, it is this process of pre-natal selection which is a crime, and it is being regulated and monitored through the PCPNDT Act.


Unless we are able to deal with all those social and economic factors that are going into the culture of son-preference and daughter-aversion, the child s*x ratio will go on plummeting. But the solution is not to curb the legal right to abortion. Rather the PCPNDT Act should be enforced, and clinics that offer prenatal s*x testing weeded out…


Checking pre-natal s*x selection requires the proper implementation of the PCPNDT act and monitoring of s*x-selective procedures by the government, and cannot be achieved by introducing such draconian measures that curb women’s right to safe and legal abortion.’


 2 Replies

Vishwa (translator)     15 May 2012

Dear Makkad ji,

You have taken several issues and jumbled them all together. It is not clear what  you are trying to express unless it is your own confused state of mind.

A woman's right to keep or discard the child is absolute...

If she has the pregnancy terminated within the time limit, no problem at all.

As far as my knowledge goes, for its s*x to be determined, the foetus has to be already in a developed state, that is, past the time limit for normal, legal termination of pregnancy.

At this stage, the foetus is considered a human being and aborting it is equal to murder and this is  where pro-life questions come up.

Now, echography tests are routinely carried out on all pregnant women and in all civilised countries. The question is routinely put to the woman as to whether she wants to know the s*x of the child, some may want to know some may prefer not to know...

On the other hand, using this possibility to get rid of the female child is not the fault of echography centres who are performing routing medical diagnosis. I am not denying that these centres are often involved in various nefarious practices.

The fault lies with the male-dominated societies where these women live. is the woman getting rid of the foetus - committing foeticide in other words -out of her own free will or is under pressure from other male or female members of her family? This is the question we have to consider, that has a major impact on our society.

The answer is simple. We have to send all girl children to school and give them equal opportunities in education. Then only they can stand on their own feet and fight male domination.

Ranee....... (NA)     15 May 2012

Diagnostic centres doing such practice are to be strictly monitored.Unless se* is know no girl foetus will be killed.

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