Sex Of Unborn Babies Can't Be Disclosed

The High Court has announced

The High Court has announced

The High Court has announced a significant verdict. Henceforth, no hospital, diagnostic center, laboratory or any other medium can disclose the gender identity of the unborn child.

The verdict, delivered on February 25 by Justice Naima Haider and Justice Kazi Zinat Hoque, has far-reaching implications for ensuring the privacy and well-being of expectant mothers and unborn children.

The ruling stemmed from a writ petition filed by lawyer Ishrat Hasan on January 26, 2020. The High Court, on February 3 of the same year, issued a bench rule seeking reasons for the failure to formulate policies or guidelines preventing the disclosure of gender identity of unborn babies. Seven defendants, including the health secretary, women and child affairs secretary, and social welfare secretary, were instructed to respond within six weeks.

Ishrat Hasan highlighted the prohibition of sex determination by law in India and emphasized the stress it causes to expectant mothers. Family pressure often leads to abortions, making it crucial to establish policies preventing the disclosure of a child's gender identity before birth.

The Health Service Department of the Ministry of Health responded by formulating the 'National Guidelines for Prevention of Son Preference and the Risk of Gender Biased Sex Selection.' This policy, prepared in consultation with various stakeholders, aims to be implemented by relevant departments and ministries, including the Directorate of Health Services, Directorate of Family Planning, and Ministry of Women and Child Affairs.

The High Court's decision ensures the protection of expectant mothers from mental stress and potential harm to both the mother and unborn child. Ishrat Hasan emphasized the potential relief for mothers facing societal pressures or the risk of abortion due to the gender of the child.

Deputy Attorney General Amit Dasgupta confirmed the government's acceptance of the ruling, emphasizing the need to follow the guidelines laid out by the Health Department. The court's decision intends to hold parties accountable for implementing the policy, allowing individuals to seek redress if violations occur.

The High Court's ruling marks a significant step in safeguarding the privacy and mental well-being of expectant mothers. By preventing the disclosure of an unborn child's gender identity, the decision aims to create a healthier environment and reduce societal pressures on mothers. The government's acceptance and commitment to implementing the policy further reinforce the importance of this ruling in protecting the rights of pregnant women and their unborn children.


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