The sex ratio in India has reached to 1,020 women per 1,000 men in 2021. However, the sex ratio at birth in India is still 929 girls per 1,000 men. Sex ratio at birth is the ratio of male to female births every year.

What is sex selection?

Last updated on Apr 8, 2022

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.1

Sex selection is illegal in India and any prenatal diagnostic procedures are only allowed in limited circumstances where a doctor would require the woman’s written consent.

Read this Government handbook by the National Health Systems Resource Centre to understand more on the law on pre-conception and pre-natal diagnostic techniques in India.

  1. Section 2(o), Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994.[]

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What does the law prohibit?

The law prohibits conducting sex selection or prenatal diagnostic procedures, determining and communicating the sex of the foetus, selling machines for sex determination and advertising sex determination facilities.
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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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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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