The health department has made a policy to prevent identification of the gender identity of the unborn child

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The Department of Health has made a policy to prevent gender identification of unborn babies. The lawyer who applied for the writ said on Monday that the policy was made after the ruling in the context of a writ.

Supreme Court lawyer Ishrat Hasan filed the writ on January 26, 2020, seeking a direction to stop the test for identifying the gender identity of the unborn child. The High Court ruled on the preliminary hearing on February 3 of that year.

The rule asked why it should not be directed to formulate policies or guidelines to prevent the identification of the gender identity of the unborn child. The respondents, including the Health Secretary, the Secretary of the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs and the Director General of the Directorate of Health, were asked to respond to the ruling.

In view of the rule, the Directorate of Health has prepared the policy titled ‘National Guidelines Regarding Parental Gender Selection in Bangladesh’ to prevent identification of the gender identity of the unborn child, said lawyer Ishrat Hasan. He told Prothom Alo that a 19-member committee was formed after the ruling. This policy of the committee has been approved by the Department of Health. In terms of the rule, a copy of the policy along with a written statement in the form of an affidavit on behalf of the Director General of the Department of Health has been received.

Lawyer Ishrat Hasan also said that the principle of the policy is that the gender identity of the child cannot be disclosed while in the mother’s womb. According to the policy, no hospital, diagnostic center, laboratory or any institution and person can reveal the gender identity of the unborn child through any type of writing, picture, sign or anything else. Advertising that exposes the identity of the unborn child cannot be done.

Lawyer Ishrat Hasan said, “The rule is for final hearing in the High Court bench comprising of Justice Naima Haider and Justice Kazi Zeenat Haque. The ruling is likely to be heard this week.

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