Post by: Rebecca Emmanuel
Hello! My name is Becky Emmanuel, and I am a second-year law student at Regent University. I had the privilege of researching Indian law regarding sex selective abortions. Our research was focused on the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act (PCPNDT Act). This Act bans ultrasounds and other machines used in determining the sex of a fetus (an unborn baby) for the purpose of sex-selective abortions of baby girls specifically.
As I researched cases on the PCPNDT Act, it became clear that the underlying reason behind female sex-selective abortions in India (and other countries like China) was because of the way society viewed the girl child, the preference for a son, and difficulty of having more children just to get a boy child. The community believes that sons are more valuable than daughters, and when families don’t have the resources to have big families, they opt to decide the sex of the children they are willing to provide for. A picture has been painted that sons are stronger, smarter, and better while daughters are weaker, inferior, and a burden on families. The destructive rhetoric that discriminates against the girl child needs to be changed.
The PCPNDT Act gives unborn daughters whose hearts are beating in their mother’s womb a chance at life and an opportunity to be and do anything a son can do. The enforcement of this Act reiterates that ALL children are gifts from the Lord and should be cared for.
Even though the PCPNDT Act is in place to stop sex selective abortions, there is still a need for proper enforcement of the law. What I’ve noticed while doing my research on cases that involve the PCPNDTC, is that, not all sections of the Act has been clearly enforced. Sometimes there is no clear standard for implementing the Act, but it is crucial for the court to keep protecting the girl-child until it agrees on a clearer standard.
This post was written by a Center for Global Justice student staff member. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Regent University, Regent Law School, or the Center for Global Justice.