Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described female foeticide and infanticide as a "national shame" and called for a "crusade" to save girl babies. But Sabu George, India's best-known campaigner on the issue, says the government has so far shown little determination to stop the practices.
Until 30 years ago, he says, India's sex ratio was "reasonable". Then in 1974, Delhi's prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences came out with a study which said sex-determination tests were a boon for Indian women. It said they no longer needed to produce endless children to have the right number of sons, and it encouraged the determination and elimination of female foetuses as an effective tool of population control.
"By late 80s, every newspaper in Delhi was advertising for ultrasound sex determination," said Mr George. "Clinics from Punjab were boasting that they had 10 years' experience in eliminating girl children and inviting parents to come to them."A report in BBC. More Here
In 1994, the Pre-Natal Determination Test (PNDT) Act outlawed sex-selective abortion. In 2004, it was amended to include gender selection even at the pre-conception stage.
Abortion is generally legal up to 12 weeks' gestation. Sex can be determined by a scan from about 14 weeks. "What is needed is a strict implementation of the law," says Varsha Joshi, director of census operations for Delhi. "I find there's absolutely no will on the part of the government to stop this." Today, there are 40,000 registered ultrasound clinics in the country, and many more exist without any record.