Two years after the Active Tracker, a device that records sonography tests, was installed in Kolhapur, a sonography clinic was sealed on Saturday following reports of sex detection tests on an unborn child.
This is the first case of punitive action against a clinic for conducting sex selection tests, since the installation of the device to track illegal sex detection tests. The authorities sealed Rama Clinic, after information recorded through forms and data from the Active Tracker showed discrepancies and abortions were discovered, officials said.
“After receiving complaints we tracked the clinic data for June and July,” said Dr Mukund Sadigale district officer for implementation of Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex selection) (PCPNDT) Act in Kolhapur.
“The records showed that 220 tests were conducted but only 207 were reported. We also found that abortions were done citing suspicious reasons. So we tracked four such cases and proved that sex determination tests were conducted and subsequent abortion of female foetus were done at this clinic.”
Dr Sadigale said the clinic was sealed under the PCPNDT Act and a case may be filed for violation of Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act as well.
Medical termination of pregnancy is legally allowed in four conditions – failure of contraception, pregnancy due to rape, congenital anomalies, and if the mother’s life is endangered.
Rama Clinic’s abortions were done citing failure of Copper T, a traditional contraceptive method where a copper wire is inserted in the vagina, which prevents conception.
After the video grabs of sonography tests were shown to a panel of doctors, they reported that Copper T was absent and the focus was on sexual organ of the foetus. It was eventually identified as a female, said Dr Sadigale. “Our suspicion became strong because the mother had two daughters, but this was not mentioned in the clinic’s records.”
Identifying and proving sex selective abortions has been difficult for activists and officials. “Sealing the clinic is not enough. They must have fast track courts for prosecution,” said Vibhuti Patet, activist and head of economics departmentt, SNDT Women’s University.