Just as a home pregnancy test is a conducted within the privacy of home to know whether you are pregnant or not, there are tests in medical laboratories, hospitals and clinics to detect whether you are pregnant with a male child or a female child. This is no more a secret now. This test has resulted in many severe problems. Female foeticide is one of them.
The Haryana government has taken severe steps against this and have sent out strict instructions to pregnant women that they will require submit a photocopy of their identification proof right at ultrasound centres.
A health department spokesperson said that expecting women could submit a voter ID, photocopy of their ration card, electricity bill, water supply bill, mobile number, PAN card, bank pass book, driving license, army card, office ID, passport, residential proof or a certificate issued by government or factory that proves their identity prior to going through the ultrasound test.
According to the spokesman, it will remain the responsibility of the radiologist entirely to ask for the photocopy of the document from pregnant ladies or their relatives. "She can submit any of these documents" said the spokesman.
He also said that no radiologist is allowed to carry out an ultrasound of a pregnant woman without commendation of a gynaecologist or physician due to certain concerns.
The spokesman also made it clear that under the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Test (PNDT) Act, severe action would be taken against any radiologist not abiding by these guidelines.
The severe move is taken by Haryana government and is targeted towards curbing incidences of female foeticide, the killing of the unborn female child via abortion. This is usually done by families who want to have a son.
To check the threat of female foeticide, the government has declared an award of `21,000 to those providing info about any doctor conducting sex-determination checks in Haryana. Haryana is known to be a state with worst sex ratios in the entire country with only 877 females per 1,000 males.