Despite the existence of Prohibition of Sex Selection (PCPNDT) Act, 1994, there has been a declining sex ratio for over 20 years. The National Steering Committee on the Pre-conception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques urged the government to rethink strategies to save the girl child.
The committee, comprising experts from the major national medical societies, met to deliberate on the plight of the girl child and steps to improve the altered sex ratio. Also they said that it was time to consider additional methods to improve the sex ratio including social change, and that a review of the Act was in order.
Doctors and other medical professionals have reported that they were being put to extreme hardship while performing routine and essential scans to the extent of denying the facility of life-saving ultra-sonography to the poor and needy population especially women and children.
"Instead, in its current form, the implementation of the PCPNDT Act has deprived the poor and needy population (especially women and children) of life-saving and essential ultra-sonography. It is well-known and medically accepted that as a non-invasive, cost-effective and accurate diagnostic tool, this modality can help significantly reduce maternal and infant mortality," the committee said in a statement after the meeting.
The associations represented at the meeting included The Association of Healthcare Providers - India (AHPI), the Cardiological Society of India (CSI), the Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecological Societies of India (FOGSI), the Indian Federation of Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology (IFUMB), the Indian Medical Association (IMA), the Indian Radiology and Imaging Association (IRIA) and the Indian Society of Assisted Reproduction (ISAR).