• Sunday, Feb 23, 2020
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HC: Why should sex detection of foetus not be declared illegal?

  • Published at 04:12 pm February 3rd, 2020

Detecting gender of unborn babies put mental pressure on the mother, the writ petitioner says

The High Court has issued a rule asking authorities concerned why the failure of forming guidelines or directives to prevent sex detection of foetus should not be declared illegal.

The bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman issued the rule after hearing a writ petition on Monday. 

Advocate Ishrat Hasan confirmed the matter to Dhaka Tribune.

Barrister Abdul Halim along with advocate Ishrat Hasan, and advocate Jamiul Haque Faisal stood for the writ.

The court also asked the government why directives should not be given to form guidelines to prevent sex detection of foetus and also to maintain an updated database of each diagnosis report of foetuses conducted by registered (public, private) hospitals, diagnosis centres, and other entities. 

The respondents, secretaries of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Social Welfare, Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, and Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), have six weeks to answer to the rule. 

Earlier on January 26 , Supreme Court lawyer Ishrat Hasan filed a writ with the High Court seeking the necessary directives and an order to ban revealing the sex of a foetus. 

Earlier on December 1, last year, the lawyer sent a legal notice to the secretaries of the aforementioned ministries asking the three ministries to circulate directives within three days to government and non-government hospitals, diagnostic centres, and clinics, to stop tests that identify the sex of a foetus.

The advocate told reporters: "Even now, most people in our country prefer a boy child over a girl child because they think males are the natural heirs of the family and breadwinners. 

"The stress of being pregnant with a daughter and social pressure can adversely affect the pregnant mother’s health and can hamper the child’s development. Thus this practice has now been banned in countries that have a preference for male children, like India and China." 

"Any tests can be done to know the health condition intended for the betterment of mother and the foetus. But tests to determine the sex of a foetus are not appropriate. To secure a mother's health and the health of a foetus, it is imperative to ban disclosing the sex of the foetus," the lawyer added.