Indian Supreme Court orders major Internet search engines to stop taking advertisements related to pre-natal sex determination

 

By Dave Andrusko

The huge imbalance in sex ratios was clearly on the minds of the Indian Supreme Court. Sex-selective abortions have cost the lives of millions of female unborn babies.

The huge imbalance in sex ratios was clearly on the minds of the Indian Supreme Court. Sex-selective abortions have cost the lives of millions of female unborn babies.

In a stunning development, the International Business Times reported today that the Supreme Court of India has ordered three major Internet search engines “to stop displaying advertisements relating to pre-natal sex determination.”

As NRL News Today has reported, gender determination and selection are offenses under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act of 1994. “[A]nyone who abets such an act, either by giving information about a foetus or helping in removing it, is liable to be punished,” Jerome Anthony reported earlier today.

However the prohibition is widely ignored and untold numbers of females have been identified, targeted, and aborted. The Indian Supreme Court clearly had the sex ratio imbalance in mind when it directed Yahoo, Google and Bing to “not advertise or sponsor any advertisement which would violates Section 22 of the PC-PNDT Act, 1994.”

According to Anthony, the bench comprised of Justices Dipak Misra and PC Pant also asked the three search engines to upload the restraint order on their policy pages and on the pages containing “terms and conditions of service.”

The justices’ lamented selective abortion:

“India is suffering so much because of sex ratio, but still there is a state of antipathy. Despite being banned, selective abortion is taking place and it is a growing problem for this country. This must stopped.”

The immediate spur for the court to take action was activist Sabu Mathew George, “who has said that the search engines violated Indian laws by displaying prenatal sex determination ads.”

According to Anthony, in 2015 the sex ratio of India stands at 943 females/1000 males. But other data is even more alarming. The number of females per 1,000 males could be as low as 914.