The Union Health Ministry has faced flak for its decision to suspended the rules imposing blanket ban on prenatal sex determination for over two months.
The move likely to witness spurt in sex-selective abortions in the country.
In a notification issued on April 4, the Health Ministry had put the rules on hold under the Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Rules, 1996, until June 30 in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The rules, which have now been relaxed, envisage ultrasound clinics to maintain and submit detailed records of pregnant women who undergo foetal scans to the local health authorities.
In the absence of the rules, many fear that it could lead to undocumented misuse by clinic owners as well as parents.
The medical fraternity has asserted that the move will not result in increase in unprecedented number of abortions or female feticide, but politicians and social activists are still fearful.
Kavita Krishnan, secretary of the All India Progressive Women’s Association, condemned the relaxation of regulations and said, “The relaxation will give licence to sex-selective abortions due to which sex ratio will suffer immensely.”
CPI (M) politbureau member Brinda Karat also raised concerns over the suspension of the provisions under the act and asserted that it could be misused by unscrupulous sections to conduct illegal sex determination tests freely.