No formal proposal, sex determination test just an idea: WCD

No formal proposal, sex determination test just an idea: WCD

There is no formal proposal for prenatal sex determination and the idea is at the discussion stage, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi today clarified amidst a raging debate over her remark that such a test be made compulsory to check female foeticide.

"Minister WCD clarifies that there is no Cabinet proposal for tracking the sex of a foetus and that compulsory determination of foetal sex is an idea given by some stakeholders," WCD ministry said on twitter.

Speaking yesterday at an event in Jaipur, Gandhi had said, "In my personal view, the woman should be compulsorily told whether it is a boy or girl child whom she is going to give birth to. I am just putting out this idea. It is being discussed though there is no conclusion yet."

The minister's suggestion evoked sharp reaction from activists and netizens as it would result in lifting of the ban on prenatal sex determination under PCPNDT Act.

"At least the present law has maintained a certain level of fear with respect to sex determination even among the rural and illiterate populace," read one tweet while other said," #India sex-ratio-918. Need of the hour is investing in changing d social cultural environment rather than scrapping ban on #sexdetermination."

In view of the raging debate, the ministry also issued a statement today asserting that while such an idea had been mooted, there was no Cabinet proposal in this regard.
The ministry said the matter needs to be debated further and invited views and suggestion in this regard.

"She (Gandhi) had specifically stated that this needs further debate and had requested the media persons to give their suggestions," the statement said.

The idea behind mandatory registration of the gender of unborn child is to enable proper monitoring of his or her birth, it said.

"It is an alternative point of view that if each pregnancy could be registered and the sex of the foetus could be made known to the parents and if the same happens to be a female, the delivery should be tracked and recorded. Such a system would help in ensuring that a foetus is not aborted only because it is a female," the statement said.

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