About  #VanishingGirls

Sex selection and skewed sex ratios are both symptoms of gender inequality and this demographic imbalance between men and women in any society will have far-reaching social and economic impacts.

The Pre-Conception Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994 is an important tool to regulate the practice of gender based sex selection. However, the implementation of the Act has been poor and sporadic in many parts of the country.

Initiated by Alliance Defending Freedom India, the objective of the #VanishingGirls campaign is to raise awareness against the practice of sex selection and advocate for effective implementation of the PCPNDT Act, 1994.

This campaign will help us join forces with those who have been working in this area for a long time in bringing a gradual change to the rigid patriarchal set up of our country that has a strong preference for the male child.

But this gigantic task cannot be done alone and we need your support to ensure that the PCPNDT Act, 1994 is implemented effectively.

Show us your support by pledging to save her life.


States must focus on more effective implementation of the PCPNDT Act and the MTP Act to curb the misuse of medical technology for sex determination and sex selective abortions

Constitute State Inspection and Monitoring Committees for checking the activities of ultrasound facilities indulging in advertisement of services and/or determination/revealing of the sex of the foetus.

Fast tracks courts and special public prosecutors must be appointed to ensure that violations under the PCPNDT Act are effectively prosecuted.

Surprise inspections of all diagnostic laboratories by State Inspection and Monitoring Committees


What is PCPNDT Act, 1994?

An Act to provide for the regulation of the use of pre-natal diagnostic techniques for the purpose of detecting genetic or metabolic disorders or chromosomal abnormalities or certain congenital malformations or sex linked disorders and for the prevention of the misuse of such techniques for the purpose of pre-natal sex determination leading to female foeticide.

The need to strengthen the PCPNDT Act, 1994

The Pre Conception Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994 is an important tool to regulate the practice of gender-biased sex selection and the boards, committees and the authorities constituted/appointed within this Act are the means to ensure its compliance. However, the implementation of the Act has been poor and sporadic in many parts of the country.

According to the Health Ministry, only 32 people have been punished in the whole country as against 563 cases reported for conducting sex determination tests between 2011 and 2013. The data shows that only four states convicted 13 people in 2013. In 2012, eight persons were punished by three states and in 2011, 11 people by four states. Punjab, which has one of the lowest CSR with 895 girls to 1,000 boys, has convicted only two persons in the period while it reported 52 such cases. Haryana with 879 CSR registered 54 cases under the Act but no conviction took place. Similarly, Delhi registered 10 cases but no convictions yet.

Gaps in Implementation

  • • Evidence for a legal case, that sex determination was done, is difficult to put together
  • • Reluctance to take action on the suspected doctors by the PCPNDT committee members (as most of the committee members are doctors)
  • • Easy availability of modern technology at the doorstep (the availability of portable ultrasound machines adds to the problem of monitoring)
  • • Lack of a written referral by a gynaecologist, specifying the reason, why the pregnant woman has to undergo scan

Gaps in functioning of Appropriate Authorities (AAs)

  • • Insufficient understanding of the law (structures and procedures) by Appropriate Authorities
  • • Confusion also among Appropriate Authorities on the issue of sex selection
  • • Lack of accountability on the part of Appropriate Authority for their inaction; in many instances, there is a complete apathy, lack of initiative or they are in collusion with the law violators.

Gaps in Monitoring and Regulation

  • • Large numbers of ultrasound centres without proper monitoring systems
  • • Sporadic monitoring of facilities available at clinics
  • • Chances of fake documentation and feasibility of manipulation of mandatory forms
  • • Evaluation and/or critical analysis of records often not done
  • • Lack of resources to carry out the inspection and monitoring of registered centres including the number of sonography machines available in these centres.

Other Issues

  • • New technologies in diagnostic tests take foetal sex detection outside the scope of the regulatory system
  • • Cheap and widely available laboratories available to know the sex of the foetus
  • • People turn to traditional midwives for sex-selective infanticide

I Pledge

Reports suggest that over 40 million girls have been aborted before they were even born in India and it is estimated that approximately 50,000 female fetuses are aborted every month.

India's skewed sex ratio shows how as a nation we have failed girls who are aborted as foetus and or subjected to varied forms of violence once born.

Girls are killed because of a widely prevalent notion that boys are better than girls. You and I can help bring an end to this terrible practice. As citizens of India, we have a choice that we will not let old notions of patriarchy stand in the way women and girls are treated in our homes and families.

Let us speak out against the violence girls experience every day. Let us speak up to STOP #VanishingGirls.

Girls across the country need love, care and an equal opportunity to grow up to be all they can; that all life is beautiful and worth protecting.

I pledge to:

I will honour and respect girls and women and I will strive to ensure that sex-selective abortions are not conducted in my family and among my friends.

To stand up for the women in my family to have an equal share in the resources of the family, including their legal inheritance.

To stand with women
and girls as they exercise their fundamental freedoms and rights guaranteed under the Constitution of India

To recognise that men and women are equally deserving of respect and opportunities in our families, place of work and in society.

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