Gender Justice – Despite skewed sex ratio, conviction under PCPNDT Act rare


Despite India’s declining child sex ratio, as many as 30 states and union territories have not convicted even a single person for pre-conception and pre-natal diagnostic between 2011 and 2013, raising concerns about the poor implementation of the PCPNDT Act.

The five states which have worst child sex ratio (CSR) – Daman and Diu (618 girls per 1,000 boys), Dadra and Nagar Haveli (775), Chandigarh (818), Delhi (866) and Andaman and Nicobar Islands (878) – have also not punished anyone during the period.

The Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 1994 was enacted to stop female foeticide and arrest the declining sex ratio by banning pre-natal sex determination.

Child sex ratio in India has reached an alarming low with 918 girls per 1,000 boys in 2011 from 927 in 2001, but not much seems to have been done to ensure strict implementation of the Act to deter female foeticide.

According to data available with the Health Ministry, only 32 people have been punished in the whole country as against 563 cases reported for conducting sex determination tests between 2011 and 2013.

The data shows that only four states convicted 13 people in 2013.

In 2012, eight persons were punished by three states and in 2011, 11 people by four states.

Punjab, which has one of the lowest CSR with 895 girls to 1,000 boys, has convicted only two persons in the period while it reported 52 such cases.

Haryana with 879 CSR registered 54 cases under the Act but no conviction took place.

Similarly, Delhi registered 10 cases but could not manage to punish anyone.

The phenomenon has spread to areas which were not known for disparity in CSR including tribal areas and eastern states, said a Women and Child Development Ministry official.

The trend was particularly acute in more developed areas of the country including metropolitan cities.

Non-implementation of the Act has been the biggest failing of the campaign against sex selection, the officialsaid.

Pune – ‘IVF ad for male child’ illegal under PCPNDT Act

‘IVF ad for male child’
Indira IVF centre in Viman Nagar has claimed the advert was not intentional (PICS: DHANANJAY HELWADE)
Activist serves legal notice to civil surgeon, PMC alleging fertility clinic promises baby ‘Krishna’ for all.

A private fertility clinic has been caught on the wrong side of law after its bid for publicity was alleged to be a promotion to beget a male child. An activist has sent a legal notice to the district civil surgeon of Ahmednagar as well as the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), urging them to take action against Indira IVF centre at Viman Nagar for putting gender specific words in an advertisement for their camp in Ahmednagar.

Ganesh Borhade, who sent the notice three to four days ago, informed Mirror, “The advertisement says ‘Nisantaata Bharat Chhodo’ (Childlessness Leave India). It’s a campaign for every house to have Lord Krishna playing in the yard. Here, they could have used a gender neutral word. However, these words point at a male child. This is in contravention of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act.” For a case that falls under this Act, one can only approach the appropriate authority — a legal designation under the PCPNDT Act — in this case, the district civil surgeon to take suitable action. The reason Borhade sent a notice to PMC as well was because the IVF centre was under the civic body’s jurisdiction.

The advertisement had appeared in a prominent local daily in Ahmednagar on May 20. Subsequently, Borhade had sent a text message to the contact number provided. In reply, he was asked to visit Hotel Farhat on May 23 (last Saturday), where an appointment had been fixed for him in the morning. He, of course, didn’t pursue the appointment anymore.

Pointing to a general trend followed by clinics offering sex determination services, Borhade said, “They don’t inform you directly whether it’s a girl or a boy. They generally have male and female deities on either side of the wall. If it’s a girl child, they look upon the wall with the female god and pray and, in case of a male child, they pray to the male god. Such sign language is also prohibited by the PCPNDT Act.”

He has alleged that the IVF centre is covertly suggesting that it will help people to conceive a male child. “Why use the word Lord Krishna? Why not any other female goddess or, for that matter, just the word child?

This is leading people to believe that the clinic specialises in male children,” he stressed, adding that the authorities should have acted on their own accord, rather than wait for a legal notice.

When Mirror contacted the Ahmednagar civil surgeon, Dr S M Sonawane, he said, “I will immediately call for a copy of the newspaper and accordingly ask the state appropriate authority to take action. We will also give suitable replies to the legal notice.” On the other hand, PMC’s appropriate authority, Dr Vaishali Jadhav, informed, “We have sought an opinion from experts on this and will take action accordingly.”

However, Indira IVF centre insisted that the advert was a clear case of oversight, stressing that nothing was intentional. “We have strict norms when it comes to the PCPNDT Act. We support the Beti Bachao Andolan. Everywhere in the centre, and even on our letterhead, we have written that we do not practise prenatal sex determination here. We are originally based in Udaipur, so we think in Hindi. We did not think it would mean something like this when we wrote the ad. It was not our intention either,” said Nitiz Murdia, the clinic’s marketing head.

Modi’s shaky race to save India’s girls 

  • beti

Amritsar, May 23 (IANS/IndiaSpend) It’s a substantial but sparse two-room house, and flies infest the courtyard, buzzing ceaselessly around Manseerat Gill, 14 days old. Undisturbed by their buzzing, she sleeps peacefully.

For the next six years — thanks to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s determination to fight the country’s bias against daughters — Manseerat’s well-being and survival will be the responsibility of a six-foot-tall man with piercing eyes and a full, flowing grey beard.

Ranjit Singh Buttar is a rare male gynaecologist here in this holy Sikh city, and as district health officer, he has many other tasks, including running rural health centres, delivering contraceptives and ensuring polio inoculations to every new born.

Amritsar is one of 100 Indian “gender-critical” districts — 10 are in Punjab, among India’s five richest states by per capita income — included in Modi’s “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (Save a daughter, educate a daughter)” programme, launched in January to fight the nation’s deep-rooted bias against daughters.

A poster for the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ campaign is outside the District Commissioner’s office in Amritsar.

“The discrimination against girls is an illness, an illness of the heart, which leads us to think sons are more important,” said Modi at the launch. “Even in feeding, a mother adds ghee to a son’s ‘khichri’ but will deny this to a daughter.”

Modi is not the first prime minister to realise that is losing girls. While the 1990s saw three such programmes, since 2005 there have been 11 schemes, one following the other, to ensure that more girls — discriminated against at birth and in upbringing — are born, live, go to school and do not marry early.

Yet, the girls continue to disappear. About 2,000 girls die — aborted or starved, poisoned or otherwise killed after birth — every day in India, according to Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi, who provided this data in April. The estimates of women so missing range from two million to 25 million.

Gandhi said Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao — which, among other things, seeks to eliminate gender-based foeticide and ensure survival of the girl child — was already showing surprising results.

“Hundreds of girl children are being thrown into orphanages in these 100 districts,” she told NDTV in an interview. “I was in Amritsar and the DC (Deputy commissioner) told me they had received 89 girls this month. I thought this is a weird statistic.”

It is. The minister got things wrong, INDIASPEND’s reporting indicates. The 82 girls she cites were abandoned in Amritsar not since January but since 2008, not as an impact of ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ but as a general malaise of giving up daughters.

What Amritsar did since 2008 was to collect these abandoned children as part of a “Pangura” (cradle in Punjabi) programme, housed in an International Red Cross building. Parents can leave children at a cradle here, instead of on the road or in fields. When a child arrives, a bell alerts staff, who place it in a hospital and later with adoption agencies.

Pangura, which has a physical cradle placed in the International Red Cross building, has collected 82 abandoned girls in Amritsar since 2008.

Pangura received 92 children since 2008, 82 of them girls. The scheme is a reasonable success, but 82 girls saved over seven years will not impact skewed gender ratios. Besides, experts said abandoning daughters is no better than killing them.

PM Modi’s “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” programme appears to focus on changing mindsets. Its first step is to spread awareness: Mobile vans and material have reached districts.

What has not reached districts is money.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley set aside Rs.100 crore for ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ in the 2015-16 budget. Each district in the hundred gender-critical districts will get Rs.55 lakh for 2014-15, followed by Rs.31 lakh in 2015-16.

Buttar’s office is yet to get the first tranche of funds, two months after Jaitley’s announcement. Minister Gandhi’s office did not respond to INDIASPEND’s interview request.

If Modi’s programme has to impact pint-sized Manseerat, money, while important, is not the only factor. The effort, as past experience shows, cannot be piece-meal, split by bureaucracy, confused and uncoordinated.

India’s political history is littered with programmes to protect girls such as Manseerat. Dhanalakshmi. Bhagyalakshmi. Rajalakshmi. Ladli. Balri Rakshak Yojana. Indira Gandhi Balika Suraksha Yogana. Balika Samridhi Yojana. Beti Hai Anmol. Mukhya Mantri Kanya Suraksha Yojana. Mukhya Mantri Kanyadan Scheme. Most have been of limited or no efficacy, hobbled by a rigid array of conditions and uncertainties about why they have not worked.

“(Our) findings point to the need to simplify the eligibility criteria and conditionalities, and also the procedures of registration under each of these schemes,” noted a United Nations Population Fund study.

“Though year after year substantial financial resources have been directed towards promoting these schemes, there is a lack of field-level monitoring. In the absence of a proper grievance-redressal mechanism, the challenges often multiply. In some states, the lack of coordination across different sectors such as health, education and social welfare is adversely affecting programme implementation.”

Implementing officers complained that other departments did not cooperate with them. In some states, tardy coordination between financial institutions, such as banks and insurance companies, and implementing departments delayed bonds, certificates and bank accounts. In most schemes, the involvement of local village institutions, NGOs and women’s groups was “rather limited”, as the study noted.

The Ministry of Social Welfare has been the nodal ministry for some schemes. State governments run parallel programmes they can tom-tom at election time. The “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” programme, managed by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, will be implemented through deputy commissioners and top bureaucrats in each district.

“The effort is fragmented. You need one entity that is then also responsible for results,” said Buttar, whose office has written a plan for the scheme’s implementation covering Amritsar district’s 15 towns and 739 villages, home to 2.5 million people, 8.9 percent of Punjab’s population.

In Punjab, fewer than 850 girls survive to reach the age of six, 68 less than India’s already poor average of 918 daughters to a 1,000 sons. Neighbouring Haryana has 12 districts in the programme. Maharashtra matches Punjab with 10 districts, where fewer girls are allowed to be born or survive compared to India’s average.

What Modi is up against is people’s desire for a male heir. “How can you expect daughters-in-law if you don’t have daughters?” Modi said at the public gathering on the launch of his scheme in Panipat, Haryana.

Not only do disappearing girls take a toll in terms of fewer number of brides and trafficking of women, India loses workforce talent and diversity. For instance, economists have struggled to explain the fall in women in India’s workforce — contrary to global trends — over the 2000s, despite a rise in industrialisation and prosperity.

“Labour participation, same emoluments for same work, nutritional standards–they paint a grim picture,” said Krishna Kumar, a Delhi University professor who has researched discrimination against girls.

Government programmes, he said, are populist but cannot trigger social change.

In Nangli village in Amritsar, Manseerat’s mother, Pinky, fresh-faced and 23, looks too young to have had two children. Both are daughters.

Pinky, 23, looks too young to have two children. Since both are girls, she might try to conceive again in the hope of having a son and “completing the family”.

Thanks to the presence of a trained health worker under the Rural Health Mission run by Buttar’s office, Manseerat was born in a hospital and not at home. She will also be innoculated. Her family of nine — sister, parents, grandparents, three unmarried uncles — live on a monthly income of Rs 15,000.

Pinky, who uses one name, has a ready laugh but it is clear she is disappointed with Manseerat.

“Could have been a son,” she said. “Her father says a son will complete the family.” Pinky’s conversation with her mother-in-law indicated she would give motherhood another shot–in hope of a son.

It is this desire for a male heir that Buttar’s office is up against.

Buttar, whose office keeps a record of gender ratios in Amritsar, said: “I am an eternal optimist; no effort goes waste.”

The optimism, in many ways mirroring Modi’s, will go only so far. To begin with, programmes for the girl child need to be brought under one roof, those involved in the programme said. The implementing department or ministry should have money, manpower and jurisdiction to use the carrot and stick: give incentives to have girls, hold awareness drives to change mindsets and prosecute under the law that criminalises female foeticide.

If the office of district family welfare officer is to be given the key responsibility for Modi’s mission, then that office needs to be rid of diverse tasks, such as running rural health clinics, distributing contraceptives and family planning programmes.

Amritsar’s district family welfare office, headed by Ranjit Singh Buttar. It is already overstretched, serving a population of 2.5 million across 15 towns and 739 villages.

Over two years, 2011-2013, no more than 32 people were punished under the law that criminalises pre-birth gender testing; gender-testing cases reported stood at 563, according to the Press Trust of India. Thirty states have not had even one conviction under this law, noted the Supreme Court of India.

Outside Buttar’s cabin, junior officer Tripta Sharma explained how she successfully played a decoy pregnant woman. She was sent to an ultra-sound clinic that was alleged to have violated the law by offering gender tests. The police made an arrest. But eight court appearances over a year and a half exhausted Sharma. The court dismissed the case.

“We are doctors, not lawyers,” said Buttar, who said his office would appeal the acquittal. He frequently raids ultrasound clinics, checking a third of them by rotation. With reluctant decoys, all his office has by way of checks on doctors and clinics is a document called “Form F”, on which clinics must declare the purpose of the pre-birth test and the doctor-in-charge.

Academic research on female foeticide — research which is dated by now, as foeticide peaked during the 2000s and then dropped off – -has discouraging findings. Female foeticide increases with easy access to medical facilities, ability to pay doctors and the availability of good roads, which cut down travel time, according to demographer Ashish Bose in his book-sex-selective Abortion in India, based on fieldwork in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

In short, progress means more girls could die. Modi’s programme could mean a lot to Manseerat’s future–but not in its current form.


Eight wards shame Mumbai with skewed sex ratio at birth

Child sex ratio in India



By | Feb 20, 2013, 06.57 AM IST


MUMBAI: While the civic administration’s statistics show that the sex ratio at birth for Mumbai has improved slightly in the last one year, experts are not too impressed. They say that the administration has to sustain such results over a decade before there is any significant change in the city’s or even India‘s skewed sex ratio.


A senior civic official, however, insisted that any increase, however small, is a step in the right direction.

Both Maharashtra and Mumbai, in particular, have shown an anti-girl bias in the last two census.

Civic figures show that the sex ratio at birth – the number of girls born per 1,000 boys – for 2012 was 922:1,000, up from 917 in 2011. But a closer look at the ward-wise break-up shows that eight wards have registered a dip in sex ratio at birth.

In south Mumbai’s Pydhonie area, for instance, only 860 girls were born for every 1,000 boys last year.

In 2011, the locality was placed better at 981 girls per 1,000 boys. In fact, the Pydhonie-Byculla-Parel belt of the island city, the prosperous Goregaon-Malad-Kandivli belt of the western suburbs and the populous belt from Bhandup to Ghatkopar in the eastern suburbs have all shown a dip in sex ratio at birth.

A L Sharada from the NGO, Population First, said it would be premature to think that such marginal increase is of any significance. She added that easy access to medical tools such as ultrasound machines, which can illegally be used to find the sex of the unborn child, was responsible for the skewed sex ratio.

“The cost of living in Mumbai is high. People want small families and still have a great desire for a male child. This is true in both the slums as well as non-slum pockets of the city,” she said.

Sharada added that the BMC should now study why certain areas, such as Parel in south central Mumbai, have consistently registered a lower-than-city-average sex ratio.

Her NGO had earlier conducted a survey to underline poor adherence among ultrasound clinics of the rules laid down under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Technique (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act.

“Until there is stringent conviction for offenders and better gender sensitivity among the population, the problem of skewed sex ratio at birth cannot be solved,” said Kamayani Bali Mahabal, Forum Against Sex Selection.





Sex Selection -Illegal ads on #Google in contravention PCPNDT ACT


Corporate communication

Google, India

2 November 2012

Complaint—Regarding illegal ads on Google in contravention PCPNDT ACT

The Pre-Conception Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act has banned the promotion or advertisement of services that allows one to choose the sex of one’s baby. Yet, Google is carrying advertisements of  the link of IVF that leads to websites that offer these services. Each time a person clicks on the ad, these companies makes money.

The Indian law against sex selection is comprehensive.   Section 22 defines advertisement and Section 26 states the penalties for violation by Companies.  They are given below:

Section 22:  Prohibition of advertisement relating to pre-natal determination of sex and punishment for contravention.

1.    No person, organization, Genetic Counseling Centre, Genetic Laboratory or Genetic Clinic, including clinic, laboratory or centre having ultrasound machine or imaging machine or scanner or any other technology capable of undertaking determination of sex of foetus or sex selection shall issue, publish, distribute, communicate or cause to be issued, published, distributed or communicated any advertisement, in any form, including Internet, regarding facilities of pre-natal determination of sex or sex selection before conception available at such centre, laboratory, clinic or at any other place.
2.    No person or organization including Genetic Counselling Centre, Genetic Laboratory or Genetic Clinic shall issue, publish, distribute, communicate or cause to be issued, published, distributed or communicated any advertisement in any manner regarding pre-natal determination or preconception selection of sex by any means whatsoever, scientific or otherwise.
3.    Any person who contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees.

Explanation.—For the purposes of this section, “advertisement” includes any notice, circular, label, wrapper or any other document including advertisement through Internet or any other media in electronic or print form and also includes any visible representation made by means of any hoarding, wall-painting, signal, light, sound, smoke or gas.

26. Offences by companies.

(1) Where any offence, punishable under this Act has been committed  by a company, every person who, at the time the offence was committed was in charge of, and was responsible to, the company for the conduct of the business of the company, as well as the company, shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly: Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall render any such person liable to any punishment, if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he had exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence. (2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where any offence punishable under this Act has been committed by a company and it is proved that the offence has been committed with the consent or connivance of, or is attributable to any neglect on the part of, any director, manager, secretary or other officer of the company, such director, manager, secretary or other officer shall also be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly. Explanation.–For the purposes of this section,– (a) “company” means anybody corporate and includes a firm or other association of individuals, and

(b) “director”, in relation to a firm, means a partner in the firm.

The Indian Parliament enacted a special law because the medical community was not self-regulating these serious violations of medical ethics. The practice of sex selection is prohibited while foetal sex determination is regulated.

The PCPNDT Act applies to advertisements and content that advertises sex selection or foetal sex determination  methods/procedures/techniques.  Any form of advertising in India that promotes techniques, products or procedures of sex selection, sex determination is a violation of the law.

In 2008, theSupreme Court of India had served notices to you,  yet  violations of the law continue with impunity and  in response Google had issued a statement saying  “The Google advertising program is managed by a set of policies which we develop based on several factors, including legal requirements and user experience. In India, we do not allow ads for the promotion of prenatal gender determination or preconception sex selection. We take local laws extremely seriously and will review the petition carefully.”

But once again sex selection ads are mushrooming in your search engine in India  and the   continued violation in the Indian Internet space by  your company is  shocking.

Although the google policy when you click here


Product Allowed? Details
Dowryrequests  Not allowed Google doesn’t allow ads or landing pages that promote dowry requests or the offering or sale of dowry. “Dowry” means any property or valuable security given by the bride to the groom for marriage.
Doctor, lawyer, or accountant services  Not allowed Google doesn’t allow ads for services offered by doctors, lawyers, or accountants.
Gender or sex selection  Not allowed Google doesn’t allow ads or landing pages that promote the pre-natal determination of the gender of a child, or pre-conception selection of sex.
Infant food, milk substitutes, feeding bottles  Not allowed Google doesn’t allow ads or landing pages that promote or encourage the use of infant food, milk substitutes, or feeding bottles.

When  you  search of gender selection or sex selection on your search engine  you  get a sponsored ad

wherein you can also order the gender selection kit online

I demand you immediately remove gender /sex selection ads from google search engine in India

Adv Kamayani Bali Mahabal, for Forum against Sex Selection (FASS) Mumbai

cc 1) Director, PNDT Division, New Delhi

2) Cybercrime cell, Mumbai


FASS protests Maharashtra govt’s plans to slap murder charges for sex selection

We, the undersigned women’s organizations, strongly protest the statement made by the Health Minister, Mr Suresh Shetty who wants to recommend to the Central Government the application of section 302 (murder charges) against woman, husband, relatives and the doctors for cases of “sex selection”.

According to the PCPNDT Act, sex selection (the correct legal term) itself is a crime and the doctors involved should be punished as per the provisions under the act. The pregnant woman on whom sex selection is performed or undertaken is not an offender according to the act. This should be upheld in Maharashtra.

We have always demanded the continuous and strict monitoring of sonography centers, hospitals and nursing homes and strict action against all unlicensed centers. Instead of concentrating on this issue and doctors who misuse medical technology, the discussion in the assembly focused on abortions. According to the MTP Act, abortions are a women’s right. We fear that applying section 302 (IPC) would curtail women’s access to safe abortion services.

We demand that the law deals strictly with those who perform the crime of sex selection. The political protection to erring doctors is a serious problem in Maharashtra and the government should take steps to put an end to political interference in implementation of PCPNDT Act.

Committed Communities Development Trust Population First
Population first
Stree Mukti Sanghthana

Savitribai Phule Gender Resource Centre
Forum Against Sex Selection

FASS submits Memorandum to the CM Maharashtra regarding actions on sex selection




7th  June, 2012

Honourable  Shri. Prithviraj Chavan,

Chief Minister ,Maharashtra  State

Mantralay Mumbai
Subject : Appropriate actions about sex selection.

Respected Sir,

Forum against Sex Selection (FASS) is a network with over 50  Ngo’s and individual members . FASS has conducted interactive workshops to discuss its perspective and plan strategies to take the FASS campaign forward and to understand challenges to implementing the PCPNDT Act. Apart from improving the sex ratio, the main thrust of the FASS campaign is to strengthen the overall position of women in our State and to enable women to live with dignity, in a non-discriminatory environment.

We appreciate your efforts to stop the violations of PCPNDT Act and the brazenness of the doctors conducting sex determination tests and subsequent illegal abortions.

We are deeply concerned & apprehensive of the dwindling sex ratio all over Maharashtra and demand serious attention of the Government in protecting the girl child and all the women related health issues.

As you are aware  the women’s organizations have been trying to draw your attention  to female feticide practices in various districts of Maharashtra, in some districts such as Beed, Parbhani, Kolhapur etc. the sex selection  has reached to disproportionate  heights resulting in alarming discrimination of the girl child. In the light of the heinous crimes being committed against women and the girl child we make following demands and suggestions and request you to give priority to this issue.

a ) We demand that utmost care be taken to implement the PCPNDT Act & punish the guilty persons causing, committing , assisting  ins ex selection  ; however care should be taken to not punish the victim women.

b ) The Government must carefully examine the registration of  sonography machines and the records thereof. The doctors or the hospitals or clinics violating the provisions  of PCPNDT act be brought to the Book &  due legal action be taken immediately.

c ) The medical shops be directed to not to sell drugs & injections related to abortions & contraception without prescription of authorized doctors.

d) Immediate action against erring be taken. The  doctors and clinics whose sonography  machines are once sealed may not be allowed to use the same till their cases are over.

e ) More facilities be made available in Govt. and municipal hospitals for pregnant women including  sonography,  contraceptives, abortions and other medical issues.

f ) The women activists and organizations committed to the cause of prevention of sex selection and reproductive  rights of women be included in the committees under PCPNDT Act.

g ) We demand that under no circumstances the right to abortion as stipulated in the MTP Act be curtailed.

h ) We draw your attention to the recent  directive issued by State Chief Secretary Jayantkumar Banthia dated 4 June 2012 to curb sex selection cases. We demand that proper discussion be made with women activists and organizations before implementing the same.

I) Under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1972. Safe abortion within the provisions of the MTP Act is the right of every woman. Access to safe abortion services has remained a challenge in India. An estimated 6.7 million abortions per year are performed in institutions not recognized by the government  India continues to have among the highest maternal mortality rates in the world (254 per 100,000 live births per year). Up to 13% of these are caused by unsafe abortions, which is the third leading cause of maternal deaths

j ) There is also a need to monitor the functioning of Appropriate Authorities and ensure their proper functioning in coordination with  the women organizations working on the issue of gender discrimination.

Limiting access to safe abortion methods only pushes women towards unsafe methods, thereby endangering their health and survival. Monitoring women buying pills from pharmacies is regressive as it undermines the confidentiality aspect of abortion and can lead to harassment of women at the hands of officials. Such regulations are discriminatory and curtail autonomy of women over their own body, right to dignity and right to benefit from advances of science, medicine and technology.

Sex selection is  a phenomenon which emerges from gender discrimination and socio-economic bias. All efforts to prevent  sex selection must seek to address issues of gender discrimination, but not further constrain women’s access to safe abortion services.

We urge the  Government to focus on better implementation of the PCPNDT Act with diligent monitoring and supervision of technologies that have the potential to be misused.

We hope you will pay attention to those very urgent  demands & take appropriate steps.
Yours sincerely,

ForumAgainst Sex Selection (FASS), Mumbai
Core Group members

Dr. Kamakshi Bhate, Savitribai Phule GenderResource Centre (SPGRC)
Dr. A.L. Sharada, Population First
Dr. Nandita Shah, Akshara
Jyoti Mhapsekar, Stree Mukti Sanghatana
Adv Kamayani  Bali Mahabal,  Human Rights  Lawyer and  Activist
Lakshmi Menon, Women Networking
Pramod Nigudkar, Committed Communities Development Trust (CCDT)
Sneha Khandekar, SPGRC
Vaijayanti Bagwe, CCDT

Copy to :

Shri. Suresh Shetty
Honorable Minister of Public Health and
Family Welfare
Maharashtra State Government, Mumbai.

Sex determination tests happen not only in India but also in West with sizable Indian population

English: Young women looking at the Bay of Ben...

English: Young women looking at the Bay of Bengal at Puducherry, India Français : Jeunes femmes regardant le golfe du Bengale à Pondichéry, Inde (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


In mid-April, a reproductive clinic’s ad appeared in a newspaper for the Indo-Canadian community in British Columbia, inviting readers to “create the family you want, boy or girl, for family balancing” with the help of pre-conception sex selection. The two children in the ad wore ethnic Indian clothes.

The newspaper withdrew the ad following public outrage, while the clinic was accused of targeting cultural attitudes that perpetuate discrimination against girls. But the writing was on the wall.

For long, sex selection has been an  issue identified with countries like India and China where the usual rationales given include dowry, patriliny (descent or inheritance by the male line), one-child policy or dependence on kids’ support in old age. But now, studies in Canada, Norway, US and UK show the persistence of this cultural attitude within the diaspora too.

Dr Shiv Pande, a Liverpool-based general practitioner and a former treasurer of the General Medical Council in Britain, says: “As they say, Indians, wherever they go, carry their curry, customs and cultural baggage. Sex selection of the foetus is quite common among British Indians, though not known widely.”

In 2007, two Oxford academics, Sylvie Dubuc and David Coleman, carried out a study of the sex ratio, using the annual birth registrations in England and Wales between 1969 and 2005, and found that there was “indirect quantitative evidence of prenatal sex selection against females performed by a small minority of India-born women in England and Wales”. Interestingly, the study found no such evidence regarding Pakistan-born and Bangladesh-born women living in England and Wales.

Says Sylvie, “Based on numbers from my previous work, I estimated the number of missing baby girls for the period 1990-2005 to be about 1500. Note that these figures relate to immigrant (i.e. India-born ) women only (and not UK-born women of Indian origin).”

In February 2012, an investigation by the UK’s Daily Telegraph newspaper discovered that some clinics were prepared to carry out such abortions with few, if any, questions asked. Likewise, the British Columbia newspaper ad came just days after a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAG) analyzed 766,688 births in Ontario and found mothers born in South Korea and India were more likely to have boys for their second child.

When it came to having a third child, the male-to-female ratio grew even more skewed for India-born mothers, who had 136 boys for every 100 girls (the world average ratio is 105:100).

Lead researcher of the study and scientist at St Michael’s hospital in Toronto, Joel G Ray, says, “Women from India and South Korea who had previous children were significantly more likely to give birth to males. For India-born women with more than one prior child, the male-female ratios were even more pronounced.”
Ray, however, cautions that “we (or anyone else) do not have direct evidence this is due to foetal sex selection.” But Mahvish Parvez of the Indo-Canadian Women’s Association in Edmonton, says, “There is a strong suggestion that the skewed ratio is due to sex-selective abortion. We know that son preference strongly persists in immigrant communities.”


Many western nations have banned sex selection for non-medical purposes – the US is a notable exception. It is a profitable business there, with gender determination technologies easily available, both online and offline, and clients flying in from the UK, Australia and probably India too.

In 2006, two professors from Columbia University, Douglas Almond and Lena Edlund, examined the year 2000 US Census data and found that while more boys than girls are born by a ratio of 1.05 to 1 among families of Chinese, Korean and Indian descent, the ratio increased if the first child was a girl. If the first two children are girls, the ratio was 50% greater in favour of boys.

It’s no surprise to community activists. Maneesha Kelkar, women’s rights activist and former executive director of Manavi, a New Jersey-based organization, remembers taking a call from a woman who said she was sitting on the operating table in an abortion clinic and was being forced to have an abortion.

“She didn’t tell me if the foetus was a girl, or why she was being told to have the abortion. When I asked what was preventing her from walking out, she said, ‘My in-laws are in the waiting room’ .”

Following such alarming reports of immigrant cultural behaviour, US Congressman Trent Franks had introduced a bill to ban sex-selective abortions (the Congress rejected it on Thursday). Kelkar feels the language around the Bill was “extremely anti-immigrant, anti-women”.

It “was going to target the immigrant community and add to the already anti-immigrant feeling in the US. It is unlikely to prevent Indian families from aborting female foetuses. You cannot legislate away a social issue.”

The negative publicity for the Indian community is one reason why some researchers caution against jumping the gun. Prabhat Jha, founding director of the Centre for Global Health Research, Toronto, says, “We need more evidence to confirm what is a suggestive pattern.

The Ontario estimates suggested selective abortion is still uncommon – about 1% of all births to South Asian-born women. Even in India, selective abortion is about 2% of all births. We need to be careful about stigma – do we want the 99% of South Asian families who don’t chose selective abortion in Ontario (if true, and that is not certain) to have a label as such?” He also warns that “we need to be very careful about putting any barriers that prevent women, especially newly migrant women who have low use of health care, from accessing good technologies (like ultrasound).”

The problem is that many immigrants live within their own social enclaves and may face the same social pressures as they would in India. Kelkar says, “I have heard so many women say, “Let my first child be a boy, then I won’t worry about the next.” It’s all about undervaluing the girl child, whether it is Surat, Southall or San Francisco.

(With inputs from Vrushali Haldipur in New York and Ashis Ray in London)

Gujarat doctor, two aides held for sex selection

 JAIPUR: State’s Pre-Conception Pre-Natal Diagnostic Technique (PCPNDT) cell has arrested a doctor from Gujarat and his two aides in a decoy operation conducted in Gujarat and unearthed an inter-state racket involved in sex selection activities.

On a tip off, the cell planned a decoy operation. Its members persuaded a pregnant woman to act as a client and another woman as her relative. The aides were 28-year-old Madan Mali and 40-year-old Bhanwar Singh, both residents of Jalore district. They took the woman to Khedbrahma‘s Pragati Hospitalin Gujarat. The arrested docter was Ganesh Patel.

50% Anti-foeticide Funds Lie Unused In UP, India Falls In Global Ranking

India has been ranked 108 of 145 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Index.
  • Uttar Pradesh has the second-highest fertility rate in the country
  • An average woman bears at least three children in rural areas in UP
  • As per Census 2011, for 1000 boys UP has 902 girls in 0-6 age group

Uttar Pradesh: The Uttar Pradesh government has left unspent about half the funds it was allocated to curb female foeticide, according to the Comptroller and Auditor General of India. This has impacted India’s position in global gender indices.

India’s most populous state also records the second-highest fertility rate in the country after Bihar.

An average woman bears at least three children in rural areas in the state, according to the 2013 Health and Family Welfare Statistics report. However, the state is also witnessing a rapid decline in its child sex ratio.

For every 1,000 boys aged between 0 and 6 years, the state has 902 girls (Census 2011), down from 916 in 2001, 927 in 1991 and 935 in 1981.

Over the same period, the country’s child sex ratio has fallen from 962 girls per 1,000 boys aged 0 to 6 years to 914 girls per 1,000 boys in 2011.

The latest figures for Uttar Pradesh from 2015 indicate that child sex ratio has further fallen to 883, observed the Comptroller and Auditor General report based on the data from the Health Management Information System.

Nature produces more males than females, as boys are more vulnerable to infant diseases than girls. The child sex ratio, therefore, tends to mirror the sex ratio at birth – ideally, between 943 and 954 females for every 1,000 males.

Since 2001, the child sex ratio in India, in general, and Uttar Pradesh, in particular, has plunged below this, suggesting that female foeticide continues unabated.

India has been ranked 108 of 145 countries in the World Economic Forum's Gender Gap Index.
Activists are hopeful that the political campaigns during the upcoming Uttar Pradesh elections would take note of the observations put forward by CAG report.

The Comptroller and Auditor General report rapped the state government for its “lackadaisical attitude” towards implementing the Pre-Conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection Act, 1994 – PC-PNDT Act) that aims to prevent sex-selective abortions through regulation and monitoring of clinics using ultrasound equipment.

With state elections due in five months, activists are hoping the Comptroller and Auditor General comments will be raised in political campaigns.

“It’s time for politicians to rally and push for more action on crimes against unborn girls. In the previous Uttar Pradesh elections, caste and communalism took precedence over basic human development issues,” said Sabu George, a veteran advocate against female foeticide and member of the National Inspection and Monitoring Committee set up under the PC-PNDT Act.

Between 2010 and 2015, Uttar Pradesh – among the 10 states with the lowest child sex ratios – claimed it would need Rs 20.26 crore to prevent sex-selective abortions through implementing the Act.

Of this, the state received 35 per cent (Rs 7.09 crore) from the Centre through the National Health Mission.

From the funds received, the state spent 54 per cent (Rs 3.86 crore) over five years – barely 20 per cent of its original estimate, the Comptroller and Auditor General report noted.

The state also raised an additional Rs 1.9 crore through registration or renewal fees and penalties charged from diagnostic centres. This is kept in a savings bank account and remains unused.

“In most women-empowerment schemes, Uttar Pradesh showed significant savings ranging from 46 to 100 per cent – mainly due to poor implementation,” the Comptroller and Auditor General audit observed in a chapter titled “Missing Daughters”.

“Majority of the schemes could not achieve their goal of reducing gender disparity due to lack of planning and inefficient execution by the implementing agencies and ineffective monitoring by the governance structure,” it said.

“Missing Daughters” is a comprehensive audit of the implementation of the PC-PNDT Act at the state-level (carried out in 20 of 71 districts) to ascertain whether available diagnostic technologies are properly regulated and monitored.

The audit found that none of the diagnostic centres followed mandatory rules of preserving image records or back-ups taken during the ultrasonography of pregnant women.

One in every four Indian girls is born in Uttar Pradesh. Thus, the state’s declining sex ratio seriously impacts the country’s overall child sex ratio.

In 68 per cent of cases, women did not even hold the necessary referral slips from their doctors.

Further, the PC-PNDT Act requires that a district appellate authority must maintain permanent records of all diagnostic centres, including details of the ultrasound machines possessed. However, in 13 of 20 audited districts, no such records were available.

Despite this negligence, the audit found that “neither any action was taken nor any penalty imposed on the defaulting Ultra-Sonography centres by District Magistrates” in 936 (58 per cent) of 1,652 registered diagnostic centres in the surveyed districts. Only show-cause notices were issued to 221 centres in five years without follow-ups.

Owing to its size and population, Uttar Pradesh’s ineptitude in dealing with gender disparities has considerable impact on India’s ability to improve its performance in the global human development index. Recently, the country was ranked 108th of 145 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Index, much below neighbours such as Sri Lanka (84) and China (91).

“One in every four Indian girls is born in Uttar Pradesh. Thus, the state’s declining sex ratio seriously impacts the country’s overall child sex ratio, and we are not likely to see much improvement in rankings in 2021 unless the issue is taken up seriously in the largest state,” said Mr George.

The report on Uttar Pradesh is also symptomatic of a larger trend of states’ poor implementation of the Act across India. Since the law came into effect in 1996, only 350 people have been convicted under the Act, suggesting vast under-reporting of the crime.

50% Anti-foeticide Funds Lie Unused In UP, India Falls In Global Ranking

Ladli Laxmi scheme fails to deliver, MP records highest sex selection and infanticide cases

BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh government’s flagship scheme for the girl child, Ladli Laxmi Yojana (LLY), has failed to deliver on its promise as the state leads in female foeticideand infanticide in the country, claimed Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) in a report released earlier this month. The rights body made a recommendation to the government to revise the scheme.   Of 2,266 cases of infanticide in two decades — 1994-2014 — Madhya Pradesh topped with 537 cases or 24% of all infanticide cases in India, ACHR report said. Of 1,663 cases of foeticide registered between 2001 and 2015, the state once again topped with 360 cases, it said.

The report, released in September, is part of ACHR’s National Campaign for elimination of female foeticide in India — a project funded by the European Commission under the European Instrument for Human Rights and Democracy.

ACHR proposed the state government should raise post-birth benefits and scholarships for girl child and provide additional aid for their marriage. Also, the government should upload data on list of beneficiaries, funds sanctioned and utilization certificates for effective review. The report stated that Madhya Pradesh was the first state to launch the LLY in 2007 to improve child sex ratio. Other states followed MP.

By December 16, 2014, more than Rs 4,500 crore had been deposited in bank accounts of over 18.62 lakh girls under LLY, aimed at protecting girls. However, after an audit of LLY scheme for 2010-2013, CAG report in the Assembly on July 2, 2014, highlighted problems in implementation of the scheme. Consequently, LLY had no impact on child sex ratio in age-group of 0-6, report stated. Despite a deplorable track record in female foeticide, there has been only two convictions under Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act in 20 years.

“On September 15, 2014, chief judicial magistrate, Gwalior, had to order registration of a case against then principal secretary health, Praveer Krishna, another bureaucrat Suraj Damor and suspend health director, Dr Ashok Sharma, for violating PC&PNDT Act for not holding meetings of State Supervisory Board,” an ACHR release said.

“This calls for immediate overhaul of policies and programmes of Madhya Pradesh to address female foeticide in the state,” said Asian Centre for Human Rights. As per Annual Health Survey (AHS), sex ratio at birth was 904 during 2011-2012 and 905 during 2012-2013. SRB is lower than child sex ratio of 918 girls per 1,000 boys in Madhya Pradesh as per 2011 Census.csr

Women Should Be Allowed To Opt Out Of Unwanted Pregnancy Irrespective Of The Reason: Bombay HC

“The right to control their own body and fertility and motherhood choices should be left to the women alone. “


MUMBAI –In a significant order that endorses a woman’s “sole right over her own body” and her consequent right to “choose or not to choose motherhood,” the Bombay High Court has held that the scope of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act must extend to the “mental health” of a woman and that she be allowed to opt out of an unwanted pregnancy irrespective of the reason.


Endorsing the right of a woman to “lead a life of her choice”, the Bombay High Court has held that the scope of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act should extend to the “mental health” of a woman and she should be “allowed to opt out of an unwanted pregnancy irrespective of the reason”.

A division bench of Justices VK Tahilramani and Mridula Bhatkar on Monday said, the benefits of the Act must be extended to not just married women but also to those women who “stay with their partners as married couples in live-in relationships”.

The court maintained that though the Act provided for a woman to undergo abortion if she was pregnant for less than 12 weeks and with the consent of two medical practitioners if she was pregnant for 12 to 20 weeks, in cases where the pregnancy posed a risk to the health of a woman or to the foetus, she must be allowed to undergo abortion during the same timeline even if there was no risk to her “physical health”.




The court made the observation while taking suo motu (on its own) cognizance of a news report about pregnant women prisoners who were not taken to hospitals, despite informing the jail authorities of their wish to terminate pregnancy.


“Pregnancy takes place within the body of a woman and has a profound impact on her health, mental well-being and life. Thus, how she wants to deal with this pregnancy must be a decision she, and she alone, can make,” the bench said.

“The right to control their own body and fertility and motherhood choices should be left to the women alone. Let us not lose sight of the basic right of women: the right to autonomy and decide what to do with their own bodies, including whether or not to get pregnant and stay pregnant.

“This right emerges from her right to live with dignity as a human being in society and protected as a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution,” the judges said.

“Not allowing a woman to terminate her pregnancy amounts to grave injury to her mental health,” they added.

The bench also passed certain directions to make it easier for women prisoners to access health facilities, including the right to medical termination of pregnancy.

Also on HuffPost India.

Along with a surrogacy law, regulate the provisioning of ARTs and IVF

  • Sarojini N Hindustan Times
  • |

Surrogate mothers in Anand, November 2015 (Hindustan Times)

The Surrogacy Bill 2016 allows only ‘altruistic’ surrogacy by a close relative for heterosexual Indian couples who have been married for five years and are childless. By putting a bar on homosexual couples and single persons, the State has constructed a category of people who can become parents in resonance with the larger patriarchal bias of the State and in the law. It conforms to the current legal framework that still does not acknowledge and respect the reproductive and sexual rights of most individuals, particularly people who are gay.


Further, the Bill makes a hugely misplaced assumption that ‘surrogacy’ within the ‘family’ and in the absence of any monetary transaction is non-exploitative and ‘altruistic’. Given that the institution of family as a location of patriarchal power, coercion and violence is well established, it is not difficult to imagine the pressures that may come to bear on women within families to act as surrogates.

As per the new Bill, surrogacy is only conditionally permitted and it bears similarities with the law for regulation of transplantation of human organs enacted in the 1990s. As is evident from the experience of implementing the transplantation law in the last few decades, bans run the risk of creating black markets in the absence of robust regulatory mechanisms that ensure proper implementation. Most important, a ban or prohibition provides no mechanisms beyond legal penalties to address health and human rights concerns that may emerge as a result of ‘underground’ surrogacy arrangements, which are likely to have greater risks of exploitation and increased vulnerability of surrogates.


The Surrogacy Regulation Bill 2016 has emerged in separation from the various earlier versions of Draft ART Regulation Bills from 2008-2015, which included regulation of surrogacy as well. The Draft Assisted Reproductive Technologies (Regulation) Bill and Rules, 2014, was the latest version of the proposed legislation before this. The broad approach adopted in this 2014 Draft Bill was to regulate and supervise the operation as well as the services provided (including surrogacy) by ART Clinics and IVF Centres in the country.

However, in formulating a separate legislation for surrogacy, the government should not lose sight of regulating the provisioning of ARTs and IVF in India. Inadequate protection against malpractices, which exist in the transnational ART industry leaves much to be desired from the perspective of medical ethics and reproductive justice.

Read: Surrogate ‘mothers’ cry foul over proposed bill, will write to PM Modi

There is a need to question the rationale behind the ‘solutions’ offered by the State to regulate surrogacy and also recognise that the practice of commercial surrogacy is fraught with many pressing dilemmas that go much beyond a binary of commercial versus altruistic surrogacy.

Sarojini N is with Sama- Resource Group for Women & Health

Women activists oppose radiologists on the PCPCNDT ACT

We the undersigned representatives of women’s and civil society organizations as well as activists express our deep concern about the fact that sonologists and radiologists have called for a nationwide strike from the 1st of September to press for their demand for amendments to the PcPNDT Act.

An amendment to the law at this stage will not only weaken the PC-PNDT Act but also defeat the purpose of Government of India’s flagship programme – Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) that was launched in January 2015. The proposed amendments being pushed by the medical Associations would allow tens of thousands of medical professionals to continue profiteering from gender-biased sex selection and escape criminal prosecution.

The Child Sex Ratio (CSR) in the age group 0-6 years has been continuously declining since 1981.  According to one estimate, on an average 4.56 lakh girls went missing at birth every year during the period 2001-12. The Sample Registration Survey (SRS) Statistical Report -2013 released by the Census of India in 2015 shows the same adverse trend at birth for most of the states. The Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB) was found to be 864 for Haryana, 867 for Punjab, 902 for J&K, 893 for Rajasthan, 911 for Gujarat, 902 for Maharashtra, and 878 for Uttar Pradesh (2011-13).

The Government of India passed the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC-PNDT) Act in 1994 to contain gender-biased sex selection but its implementation remained on paper for several years. On the other hand misuse of technology such as ultrasonography multiplied. And as a result, the heinous practice of gender-biased sex selection continued and made inroads into several parts of the country. It was only after the intervention of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in 2001 that measures and necessary structures for the implementation of the PC-PNDT Act were initiated, and registration of ultrasound centres was started.

However, the recent Census clearly highlights the fact that gender-biased sex selection is still rampant and the situation demands stringent and more accountable implementation of the PC-PNDT Act. The present Act is adequate to create deterrence and deal with the crime of gender-biased sex selection as is evident in the states of Maharashtra and Haryana. Medical professionals indulging in the illegal and unethical practice of gender-biased sex selection have started facing the brunt and recently more than 70 doctors have been convicted under the Act.

Unfortunately, there is a powerful medical lobby which has been pushing to undermine the PC-PNDT Act by opposing its implementation and demanding amendments to certain Sections and Rules of the Act. Regrettably, pressure is also being built by the professional medical Associations on the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India to dilute the strong provisions of the present Act.

We therefore strongly appeal to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare that there should be no amendments to the present PC-PNDT Act. In a situation where SRB and CSR are not in favour of girls, the medical profession should be proactively engaged on the issue. The Associations should support the implementation of the Act in its present form and expose those errant medical professionals who are indulging in the practice of gender-biased sex selection.

Our Demands:

No amendment to the present PC-PNDT Act.
Strict implementation of the present Act at block, district, state level.

Kiran Moghe, Sonya Gill – Akhil Bharatiya Janwadi Mahila Sanghatana, Anagha Sarpotdar, Dr. Manisha Gupte – MASUM, Shanta Ranade, Lata Bhise Sonavane – Bharatiya Mahila Federation, Adv . Kamayani Bali Mahabal – Forum against Sex Selection, Adv Assunta Pardhe – Chetna Mahila Vikas Manch, Medha Kale, Achut Borgaonkar – Tathapi, Anand Pawar, Preet – Samyak, Adv. Rama Sarode, Alka Joshi – Abhivyakti, Dr. Nadi Palshikar, Adv. Julie George – Streevani, Purnima Chikkarmane – Kagad Kach Patra Kashtkari Panchayat, Aalochana, Adv Vaishali Bhandwalkar – Bhatke Vimukt Mahila Adhikar Andolan, Nagmani Rao – Shramik Mukti Dal Lokshahiwadi, Sunita Sheel, Sanyogita Dhamdhere, Sadhana Khati and others

TN quack arrested for gory sex-selective abortions

She was caught even as five patients were waiting for abortion.
Representative Image/

In a horrifying practice of sex selection  in Tamil Nadu, a quack was arrested for performing sex determination tests and abortions at Tiruvannamalai on Tuesday evening.

48-year-old Anandi was in the midst of performing abortions on five women when she was caught by officers from the Tamil Nadu Medical and Rural Health Services.

Anandi worked out of her terrace with an ultrasound machine which, by law, only an authorized technician can operate.

Speaking to TNM, a senior official of the Medical and Rural Health Services said women in their 4th or 5th month of pregnancy would approach Anandi and once the sex of their baby was determined as female, she would perform an abortion.

The abortion was nothing short of gory.

“Anandi would render women unconscious with chloroform and administer a vaginal pill. We also suspect that in some cases she was allegedly pulling out the foetuses manually,” he said.

Obstetrician Dr. Jaishri Gajaraj said, “Normally a pill is administered as an anti-progesterone to abort the foetus and then the foetus naturally comes out. But to pull the foetus out is a condemnable practice.”

The official said, “After an anonymous complaint was received, we remanded her. She will be booked under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostics Act and the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971,” he said, adding, “The woman’s operations were all covert and most of the women who approached her were from neighbouring villages.”

Under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostics Act, a person can be imprisoned up to three years and fined Rs 10,000. Under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, if a person who wilfully refuses to comply with the regulations made, he/she will be fined Rs 1000.

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