PIL to prevent Sex Selective Abortions and for Implementation of Pre-conception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 2003

CEHAT along with MASUM and Dr Sabu George( independent activist) filed a Public Interest Litigation PIL in February 2000 to review tha "Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misues) Act-1994". The case has reasonable success with improved implementation by states, a national debate regarding the issue of declining sex ration an amendment of the PNDT ACT. Currently active advocacy us being pursued for awareness generation and action against defaulting medical practitioners. Along with the Government "Answers to Frequently Asked Question have been been developed along with Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India and UNFPA to clarify legal and ethical issues regarding the practice for lay persons, doctors and appropriate authorities. Resource material like posters, pamphlets, handouts have been developed to spread awareness on this issue.

Call for a ban on Sex Selection

Son preference is one of the most evident manifestations of gender discrimination in our society. Sex- selection has become a rampant phenomenon and the technologies that are misused for this very purpose are becoming increasingly sophisticated. The use of advanced medical science and technology has made sexual discrimination and the elimination of female babies even before birth an invisible deed. The earlier more crude and visible forms of eliminating females such as choking infants on rice husk have given way to using technology to select sperms carrying the Y chromosome in order to be able to conceive a male child! The widespread practice of sex determination brings to fore a lot of issues linked to it. Medical science and technology are being misuse by medical practitioners who provide such options for people at large. They posses the skill and expertise to use these technologies and are also economically benefiting from them by their misuse. By indulging in such practice they not only violate the law but also the professions own code of ethics and conduct, which also puts forth sex selection as a concern of medical ethics. Most importantly, sex selection also is a breach of human rights as far as women are concerned. The selective elimination of women even before birth is a breach of their right to equality and existence.

Advocacy for the Implementation of the PCPNDT Act

CEHAT also conducted a workshop on the PCPNDT ACT along with the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Punjab, FOGSI Punjab and the Appropriate Authorities in Amritsar in June 2006. The workshop was attended by 15 appropriate authorities of Punjab from Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Hoshiarpur, Nawanshahar and Batala. 30 members of the Nursing Home Association, Punjab and 10 FOGSI members participated. Problems in filing complaints and also harassment by appropriate authorities in certain cases were discussed during the workshop.