Dr Anil Sabani and his assistant Kartar Singh have been sentenced to two years in jail for revealing the sex of a fetus and then agreeing to abort it if it was female. This is the first time that any medical practitioner has been jailed for carrying out illegal fetus determination tests and abortions.
The perpetrators were found out when government officials sent in three pregnant women as decoys. Dr Sabani was caught on audio and video telling one of the women that it was a "female fetus and it would be taken care of". Commenting on the conviction, the president of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Dr Vinay Agarwal said, "The medical profession is doing all it can though we have to address this as a social evil. People should be proud to have a girl child." Punjab and Haryana have some of the worst sex ratios in the country. There are about 861 females for every 1,000 males in Haryana, according to the census. The national average is 927 women to 1,000 men. In an article in The Lancet, Indian and Canadian researchers had said earlier this year that the practice or abortion was resulting in the loss of 500,000 females each year.