Problematisation of Sex-Selective Conception and Abortion in India: Implications and Legal Responses

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Journal Title: Asian Law & Public Policy Review
Author(s): Dr. Thajamanbi Yumkham
Published On: 03/10/2022
Volume: 7
First Page: 122
Last Page: 138
ISSN: 2581-6551
Publisher: The Law Brigade Publisher

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Dr. Thajamanbi Yumkham, Problematisation of Sex-Selective Conception and Abortion in India: Implications and Legal Responses, Volume 7, Asian Law & Public Policy Review, 122-138, Published on 03/10/2022, Available at


Discriminatory practices against women have been a common problem in Indian society since many decades. This is attributed to the rudimentary factor of a patriarchal dogma that is deeply rooted in our society. Women were mostly treated as a liability on the family and hence, treated sans dignified existence. Consequentially, inhuman social evils like female infanticide and female foeticide have been rampant. To aggravate the already persisting problem, modern technology in the form of assisted reproductive technology is being misused today for sex-selective conception. On account of such gender discriminatory practices, the declining sex ratio in India is still persisting. To remedy the evil of gender injustice, the Constitution of India envisions an egalitarian society to empower women. The attainment of the goal of gender equality is one of the most crucial Constitutional goals. In India, sex-selective conception and sex-selective abortion has been prohibited by the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994 (Act 57 of 1994), the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 (Act 34 of 1971) and the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Act 45 of 1860). The effective implementation of these laws is still not in sight. It is thus, a necessity to critically understand the gravity of the problems highlighted by taking into account of the social and cultural factors along with the existing legal framework.

Keywords: Sex-Selective Conception; Sex-Selective Abortion; Gender Injustice; Legal Framework; Failures of Implementation

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