• Thursday, Oct 06, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Writ filed to ban revealing gender of unborn baby

  • Published at 03:43 pm January 26th, 2020
High Court-HC-court
File photo of the High Court Dhaka Tribune

Earlier on 1 December last year, the lawyer sent a legal notice to the secretaries of the Ministry Of Health, Woman and Children Affairs, and Social Welfare

A writ has been filed with the High Court seeking necessary directives, and seeking an order to ban revealing the sex of a baby during the pregnancy period. 

Supreme Court lawyer Ishrat Hasan filed the writ on Sunday.

The lawyer told the reporters, the writ may be heard by a bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mustafizur Rahman next week. 

Earlier on 1 December last year, the lawyer sent a legal notice to the secretaries of the Ministry Of Health, Woman and Children Affairs, and Social Welfare.

The notice asked the three ministries to circulate directives within three days to the govt and non-govt hospitals, diagnostic centers and clinics to stop tests that identify the gender of the baby during pregnancy. 

The advocate told the reporters: “Even now, most people in our country prefer a boy child over a girl child because they think males are the natural heirs of the family and the natural breadwinners. 

“The stress of being pregnant with a daughter, and social pressure will adversely affect the pregnant mother’s health and it will hamper the child’s development, thus in countries that have high preference of male children, this practice has now been banned, like India and China,” she added. 

“Any tests can be done to know the health condition intended for the betterment of mother and the baby. But to know the gender of a baby, such kind of test is not appropriate. To secure a mother's health and the health of the unborn baby, it is imperative to ban the disclosing of baby’s gender during pregnancy, the lawyer added.

Even if the untrasounds - the most popular way to find out the sex of the baby are banned from revealing gender, the risk of femicide still rings high. On January 18th, Jahangir Shikder, from Amtali upazila of Barguna was arrested for killing his newborn daughter for being a girl.

According to police, Jahangir and his wife Shima Begum have two other girls named Sohagi, 9, and Jannati, 3. Jahangir, upset that he had another girl instead of a boy this time, started acting maliciously with Shima and the newborn.

On January 16th, Jahangir was alone with his newborn daughter when his wife Shima was busy with household chores. When Shima came back to the room she found that Jahangir and her newborn daughter were missing.

Shima and other family members found the dead body of the girl in a canal behind their house.

Amtali police station OC Abul Bashar said: "Jahangir confessed in primary interrogation that he killed his daughter by drowning her. He will be produced in court on Sunday."

Ultrasound is used during pregnancy to check the baby's development, the presence of a multiple pregnancy, and to help pick up any abnormalities. 

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