Govt to Crack Whip on Girl Child Abortion
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28 July 2011
By, Ambarish Mishra
After closing in on sonography centres and radiologists involved in sex determination tests,efforts are afootby the public health department to bring under the purview of the law those who prod or force a woman into undergoing a sex determination test, and subsequently, an abortion.
Stating thisin thelegislative assembly on Wednesday, minister for public health Suresh Shetty said a law in this connection is already in place, known as the PCPNDT Act. “Now, we are going to implement it rigorously to curb the declining girl child ratio,” he said. The recent case of dead foetuses of girls found in a river in Parali near Beedin Marathwada broughtto theforethe gravity of theissue.
Shetty was replying to a calling attention motion on the issue. The calling attention motion was tabled by Shishir Shinde (MNS) and others. Shetty saidof thetotal7,939 sonography centres in Maharashtra, 6,517 were checked and 282 centres have been sealed for violation of rules.Of these,court ruling has come in 46 cases and 17 centreshavebeen found guilty.
Rajendra Shingne, former minister for health, brought up the issue of close relatives coercing or cajoling a woman in the family to go in for abortion of a girl child. This prompted Shetty to announce that relevantclausesin thePCPNDTAct willbeimplemented.
Ravindra Waikar (Shiv Sena) wanted to know if action wouldbeinitiated againstthose who manufacture sex determination equipment. Shetty said a monthly report in this connection will be asked for by the authorities.
Pankaja Munde (BJP) underscored the need for a periodic review of the measures to curb sex determination tests. Minister of state for public health Fauzia Khan said standalone sonography centres will notbe allowedin thestate.
The island city’s child sex ratio fell from 922 girls for every 1,000 boys in 2001 to 874 girls for every 1,000 boys in 2011.The ratio in the suburbs slipped from 923 girls for every 1,000 boys in 2001 to 910 girls for every 1,000 boys in 2011. Maharashtra's child sex ratio in 2011 was 883 girls to 1,000 boys as against 913 girls per 1,000 boys in 2001. Beed, inquiries revealed, was the worst, with a drop of 93 in the last decade.