Sex selection in India: Why a ban is not justified

Developing World Bioethics 20 (3):150-156 (2020)
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When widespread use of sex‐selective abortion and sex selection through assisted reproduction lead to severe harms to third parties and perpetuate discrimination, should these practices be banned? In this paper I focus on India and show why a common argument for a ban on sex selection fails even in these circumstances. I set aside a common objection to the argument, namely that women have a right to procreative autonomy that trumps the state's interest in protecting other parties from harm, and argue against the ban on consequentialist grounds. I perform a pairwise comparative analysis of sex selection and its plausible alternatives and argue that that the ban fails to improve the state of affairs relative to a scenario without a ban. The ban makes the situation worse, especially for mothers and their daughters. India should therefore repeal its ban on sex selection.
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Archival date: 2019-10-25
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