Under the Pre-conception Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, an embryo is the developing of a human organism after fertilization till the 56th day from conception. From the 57th day, an embryo is considered as a foetus.

What does the law prohibit?

Last updated on Apr 8, 2022

The law prohibits the following activities:

Conducting sex selection

Nobody, including infertility specialists, can conduct sex selection on a woman or a man or on both, by using any tissue, embryo, conceptus, fluid or gametes derived from either or both of them.1

The law also prohibits anybody, including a relative or husband of a woman, from seeking or encouraging any sex selection procedures on either or both of them.2

Conducting prenatal diagnostic procedures

No place, including a registered centre, can be used by any person for conducting prenatal diagnostic procedures or tests, except for certain permitted situations.3

The law also prohibits anybody, including a relative or husband of the pregnant woman, from seeking or encouraging the conduct of any prenatal diagnostic procedures or tests on her, except for certain permitted situations.4

Determining the sex of the foetus

Nobody, including a registered centre, can conduct any prenatal diagnostic procedures for determining the sex of a foetus.5

If a sex determination procedure results in the abortion of a child, it would be a crime of foeticide.

To know more about the law on abortion, please read our explainer.

Communicating the sex of the foetus

Nobody can communicate the sex of the foetus to the pregnant woman, her relatives or any other person, by words, signs or in any other manner.6

Selling machines for sex determination

Nobody can sell any ultrasound machine, imaging machine, scanner, or any other equipment that can detect the sex of a foetus to anyone not registered under the law.7

Advertising sex determination or sex selection facilities

Nobody can issue, publish, distribute or communicate anything online or offline about the availability of facilities of prenatal determination of sex, or sex selection, before conception.8

  1. Section 3A, Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994.[]
  2. Section 4(5), Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994.[]
  3. Section 4(1),Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994.[]
  4. Section 4(4),Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994.[]
  5. Section 6,Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994.[]
  6. Section 5(2), Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994.[]
  7. Section 3B, Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994.[]
  8. Section 22, Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994.[]

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Related Resources

What are the offences and punishments under this law ?

Under the Indian law, every offence under the sex selection law is cognizable, non-bailable and non-compoundable.
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What is sex selection?

Sex selection includes any procedure, technique, test or administration or prescription or provision of anything to ensure or increase the probability that an embryo will be of a particular sex.
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When are prenatal diagnostic procedures permitted?

The Indian law allows the use of prenatal diagnostic procedures in certain limited circumstances, mentioned herein.
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Who does the law apply to?

The law prohibits anyone from doing or allowing any sex selection procedures and regulates every person who could be involved in the process of sex selection.
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What are prenatal diagnostic procedures?

It includes any gynaecological, obstetrical or medical procedures such as ultrasonography, to conduct any prenatal diagnostic tests for sex selection, before or after conception.
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Where can prenatal diagnostic procedures be conducted?

The law states that only Genetic Counselling Centres, Genetic Laboratories and Genetic Clinics (registered centres) that are registered under the law can conduct permitted prenatal diagnostic procedures.
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