Amniocentesis Law and Legal Definition

Amniocentesis is a procedure preformed on pregnant women to test for chromosomal abnormalities, genetic birth defects and certain other conditions. Using ultrasound as a guide, the health care provider inserts a thin needle through the mother’s abdomen. A small amount of amniotic fluid (the fluid that surrounds the baby) is removed and tested.

The most commonly used sex determination test is amniocentesis. According to one study, in Bombay and its suburbs 84 percent of the gynecologists were performing about 270 amniocentesis tests per month. Only five percent of the tests were being done for detecting fetal malformation, while the remaining-as many as 95 percent were being carried out for sex determination and subsequent abortion if the fetus was found to be female. See, Kaur, Manmeet : Female Foeticide – A Sociological Perspective. The Journal of Family Welfare. March 1993. 39(1).p. 40-43.