Dr. Avnish Jolly, New Delhi, 4th March, 2009 : Fight-Back, which was set up in 2008, has declared the March 8 International Women’s Day as the International Missing Women’s Day to highlight the missing number of girl-children who fall victims to foeticide while they are in the womb. Hence online youth movement campaigning for gender justice and building public opinion against female foeticide has launched a new initiative to spread awareness among the medical fraternity against the social malaise.
Under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 and the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Technique Act, 1994, abortions may be carried out only if there is threat to the life of the mother, if a child could be born handicapped or if a child has been conceived as a result of rape.
Estimates say that nearly two million girl-children are victims of foeticide in rural and urban India every year. The initiative has brought aroubd 150 doctors on one platform to condemn female foeticide and to issue a pledge that they will not abet illegal sex determination tests and aborting of female foetuses.
Fight-Back Founder and Zubin Driver said that female foeticide is one of India’s most shameful secrets and is supported by a nexus of doctors and affluent people. No one gets convicted, no one is jailed and the efforts to curb it are mostly cosmetic. It is rampant in progressive states like Punjab, Haryana and in several heartland states.
The NGOs has also called upon the Indian Medical Association (IMA) to ban doctors who are found abetting female foeticide. According to Driver, the laws monitoring female foeticide and illegal sex determination tests were useless because people in India have a disregard for such laws.