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Discrepancies in the laws on identifying foetal sex and terminating a pregnancy in India

Talha A Rahman, Ayesha T Siddiqui

DOI: 10.20529/IJME.2007.047


Abstract

Laws that regulate the identification of a foetus and the termination of a pregnancy in India are shaped by their social context. The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, discriminates against unmarried women by not recognising that unwanted pregnancies in unmarried women could result in at least as much anguish and suffering as that experienced by married women. While the MTP Act permits the abortion of foetuses with disabilities, the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act’s ban on identifying the foetus’s sex prevents the use of sex-detection to identify foetuses at high risk of sex-linked diseases.

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