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NCW to launch nationwide inspection of IVF facilities

NCW to launch nationwide inspection of IVF facilities

New Delhi, Oct 1 (PTI) The National Commission for Women (NCW) is launching a nationwide inspection of IVF facilities, the women's rights body said Tuesday, a day after authorities busted an international racket at two facilities in Delhi where couples were asked to pay Rs 8.5 lakh for a male child. The racket, with operations across the country, was busted by authorities on Monday. Acting as prospective parents, officials visited a facility at Delhi's Kirti Nagar area where they were informed that they could be guaranteed a baby boy if they paid money. The procedure, they were told, would be conducted in Dubai. NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma told reporters that the agency is now preparing a proforma for the inspection process. She said that the sting was conducted after a tip off from the Health Ministry. "Upon inquiries, we found out that they have more than 100 partner facilities across the country, and are promising male child in contravention of the law. We are now going to carry out inspections in these centres and NCW members are preparing a module for it. We will submit findings to the health and women and child development ministries for further action," said Sharma. Earlier this year, the NCW had inspected women rehabilitation facilities under the Swadhar Greh scheme and recommended an overhaul of the scheme. Sex selection is banned in India under the PC&PNDT Act 1994. The act provides for the prohibition of sex selection, before or after conception. It regulates the use of pre-natal diagnostic techniques, like ultrasound and amniocentesis by allowing them their use only to detect genetic abnormalities and sex-linked disorders. "Discrimination in form of pre-natal sex determination, the thought process of giving preference to a boy instead of a girl has led to an alarming deficit of female population in the country, particularly in prosperous urban and prospering rural areas, Sharma said. "The commission will be inspecting IVF clinics across the country to check if they're involved in any illegal and unethical activities. The NCW is committed to the welfare of women and I will personally monitor this project with the members of the commission. I might make personal visits to some of these centres too, " she said. PTI ASG AAR