India's strict ban on pre-natal diagnostic tests aka finding out if your unborn child is a boy or a girl have been rigorously enforced since federal legislation on the matter passed in 1994. The ban came about as a result of the alarming rates of female foeticide— by 2006, researchers estimated that 10 million female births have been lost to sex-selective abortion in 20 years. It's gotten so bad that the male-to-female ratio in almost every one of India's districts has declined.
But while the government is cracking down on doctors conducting pre-natal sex determination tests with sting operations, Shah Rukh Khan, my and all of South Asia's first crush and the world's highest paid actor, has reportedly discovered the sex of his unborn child. Khan and his wife Gauri have denied rumors that they're expecting a third child using a surrogate mother. Now, with the allegation that they have illegally had a pre-natal gender test conducted, the Indian government is stepping in. And you thought the Beyoncé baby rumors got out of hand.
A state health official has stated that he has called for an official inquiry about the supposed test. If they had the test conducted in India, the couple could face "heavy fines" and even jail time, as doctors, nurses and expecting parents do when they violate the ban. Though, I'm sure the fines, no matter how heavy, won't put a dent in Khan's $58 million that he made in the last year. Regardless, the Indian government's public reaction to mere rumors of a pre-natal test indicate they're not messing around when it comes to the law. Khan and his wife already have two children, one boy and one girl, which isn't to say, "Look! They didn't kill their daughter before!" but seriously? Do they really believe a pre-natal test will result in an abortion with the very progressive Khan family? If the investigation goes through, the strict ban on pre-natal testing will surely come into question once more.
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