India tops SAARC countries for female infanticide

India tops SAARC countries for female infanticide

“Female Infanticide Worldwide” the first ever global study on the issue by the Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) stated that female infanticide for son preference due to variety of reasons is a worldwide phenomenon with 1.5 million female foetuses being aborted every year.  Samefully, India heads the list among SAARC countries and ranks Number 4 worldwide followed by Pakistan at Number 10 and Nepal at Number 11.

In India, the Pre-conception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994 (amended in 2003) prohibits sex-selection or disclosure of the sex of the foetus “by words, signs or in any other manner” and prohibits sale of “any ultrasound machine or imaging machine or scanner or any other equipment capable of detecting sex of foetus” to persons, laboratories, clinics, etc. not registered under the Act but how far these prohibitions are adhered to are of suspect.

Also given that Thailand is close by and cost effective for Indians, many are now visiting Thailand for reasons beyond tourism. In Thailand sex selection is not illegal and thus now a major attraction for In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) procedures preceded by Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) and Pre-Implantation Genetic Screening (PGS) and thus, selecting male embryos is an often used option. Not surprisingly the sex ratio at birth in India is now recorded at 112 males/100 females whereas in Pakistan is 105 males/100 females.        


image: representational



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