The Indian Medical Association on Saturday came out in support of Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi’s suggestion to make prenatal sex determination mandatory to curb female foeticide, PTI reported. The IMA said the minister had referred to an opinion brought to the ministry by stakeholders that each pregnancy be registered and monitored if the sex of the foetus is found to be female. “...This is a suggestion that needs to be debated. The Indian Medical Association supports this viewpoint,” it said in a statement.

After reports of Gandhi’s suggestion surfaced, the Bharatiya Janata Party leader issued a clarification saying she was discussing ways to effectively implement the Preconception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques Act, which Secretary General of IMA Dr KK Aggarwal said had not made any difference to child sex ratio in India. With the figure dropping from 927 girls in 2001 to 919 on the 2011 Census, Dr Aggarwal proposed that the government form a working group to discuss and work out ways to implement the Act.

He said the panel can comprise officials from the ministries of health and women and child development, the IMA, Indian Radiological and Imaging Association, and the Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India. Child sex ratio is the number of girls per 1,000 boys between the ages of 0 and 6.