Trivandrum: In a very bold and controversial move, the Planning Commission has
recommended for a relaxation in the laws against sex determination in
the country. The Planning Commission proposes for the parents to have
the freedom to check the sex of their child before being born and have
the child be adopted by the government if the child happens to be a
girl. 'Adoption' here means taking care of the mother while being
pregnant, and tracking the growth of the child till he or she reaches
two years of age, which essentially means that the government is
actually supporting the parents to raise a child if that child happens
to be a girl.
The sex ratio of India now stands at an all time low of 1000:914 against
females. Right now the determination of a child's sex before being born
is illegal according to the Pre Conception and Pre Natal Diagnostic
Techniques Act. Sex determination is banned because fetuses are
destroyed if the growing child happens to be a girl in many parts of the
country which is the sole reason for the nation to have such a low,
conscience striking sex ratio. But something has gone wrong either with
the rule, or with the implementation of the rule, because the sex ratio
had been on the fall for years now.
Revealing that the Commission is desperate and clueless about the
situation, the Planning Commission now recommends sex determination for
couples before their child is born and then to have it born under the
assurance of the government looking after the child for the first two
years. So it is either the Planning Commission wanting the parents to
see the birth of a girl child as a financial gain, or wanting a girl
child to be born simply because they are needed to keep the balance in
the population. It has to be mentioned that the laws formulated also
need to cover the emotional aspects of being human as well.
The AIDWA (All India Democratic Women’s Association) is amongst the many
organisations that want the proposal to be immediately withdrawn.
“It is most unfortunate that the Planning Commission is proposing to
undermine existing legal safe guards. The ban on sex determination was
achieved after a long struggle by women's and health rights
organisations. This preposterous proposal will only end in the
abandonment of a large number of girl children,” a statement carried out
by the organisation said.
Image Courtesy: medicinenet.com
The Human Rescue Team has voiced their support to the cause. “We are
also afraid that an arbitrary relaxation in sex determination and
attached incentives may cause a tremendous rise in female foeticides and
even run the risk of projecting girl child as a money making mechanism
that may be an uncalled burden on the national economy.”
Kerala Women’s Commission Chairperson Justice D Sreedevi regards the
proposal made by the Planning Commission in contempt. “Already we are
struggling to keep female feticide in check and now they are proposing
to make it all the more easier for them,” she said.
However she refused to give further comments on the matter on the excuse that she was yet to study the report in detail.
How do the readers of Yentha feel on the issue? Should sex determination
of the fetus be banned or should the laws against it be relaxed as the
Planning Commission suggests?