Thanks for the links, Lije
Quote:While Western science is not to blame for the disappearance of tens of millions of females from the global population, some Westerners did play a role in bringing sex selection to Asia. It is this role I hope we can discuss.
The original review posted here was not so benign. Anyways, let's go with her argument for a while and cosider that these Westerners did indeed introduce amniocentesis and ultrasound diagnostics to India with the express aim of population control. Well, so what? If they
hadn't introduced it, how long would it be before Indian scientists and doctors realized the implications of the technology and brought it to the country.
Quote:Sex-selective abortion happens in India, and the technology is being used to further it. These are the facts. Of course, the technology itself is value-neutral. But when there is so much ignorance in the culture at large, technology is that much easier to abuse. Isn't it?
Yes, of course. Looking at temporal changes in the sex ratio in India
, there is a significant dip in the 1961-1971 decade, which might suggest a link with the availability of prenatal sex determination techniques. Having said that, however, I might also add that the figures for sex-ratio at birth have been more encouraging
in the past couple of decades, even in the worst offending states like Punjab. This might have something to do with the stringent laws against prenatal sex determination.
In any case, even if the easy access to ultrasound technology has facilitated a skewing of the sex ratio, it doesn't in any way mean that the technology itself should be targetted. I might be biased in my evaluation. I've extensively used ultrasound throughout my pregnancy and the only reason we have two healthy babies now is because of the technology. Working with clinical geneticists, I read reports on prenatal diagnosis every single day. I realize the value of these technologies. IMO, the correct way to tackle the problem is not by restricting access to the technology, but by ensuring the proper use of it. The Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) is, at least on paper, a very strong act. If only it were enforced as strongly.
I might also mention here that the traditional way of ensuring a preponderance of male children has been female infanticide, a tool that is still being used, and doesn't require any of these above-mentioned technologies.