AIDWA strongly condemns the stand taken by Dr. Santanu Sen, President, Indian Medical Association, seeking 'comprehensive review, repeal and re-conception' of PCPNDT Act and deplores the fact that the President and the General Secretary of the highest medical body in India considers it a 'harassment' for doctors to maintain transparency of their practice by complying with the rules and regulations of the Act. It may be pointed out that the Act does not represent 'a layman's approach' and it was only after extensive consultations with eminent medical experts that it was finalised by a Parliamentary Committee and then passed in Parliament. It is by no means an Act against obstetricians and radiologists, but seeks to penalise only those who use USG and other methods illegally for pre-conception and prenatal sex selection. The problem of son-preference is no doubt a social problem, but obviously identification of sex of the unborn child and elimination of the female foetus would be impossible without the intervention of a section of people inside the medical profession. Hence people in the medical profession cannot shake off their responsibility to stand up against this social evil and ensure that son-preference is not further reinforced through their own stand. A powerful body like the IMA is duty-bound to generate awareness against son-preference at all levels instead of pushing the burden of such measures on the Government alone.
Further, researchers have pointed out that the Act did bring a decline in the rate of sex-selective abortions and helped reduce the alarming fall in sex ratio. Our own activists have found that the atrocious sex-ratio in Haryana where the Act had not even been notified up to 2007, began to improve from 2011 when implementation began. Rajasthan and Maharashtra also showed significant increase in male-female ratio because of better implementation of the Act. Increase in juvenile sex ratio at the national level is another evidence that the Act has not altogether failed in its objective. But the act still falls short of its objective because of weaknesses in implementation. In fact AIDWA has always campaign for a stricter implementation of the Act.
We cannot deny that there has been a significant resurgence in regressive patriarchal ideology under the present regime which is anti-women and encourages son preference.
We enjoin all members of IMA to refrain from contributing to this resurgence by endorsing a demand which may distort the sex ratio further and threaten the survival of the girl child.
We therefore demand strict and continued enforcement of the Act across the country.