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Nullify Law for Preventing Precocious Maternity in India
In previous letters, medical aspects of the Indian situation have been dealt with. The latest census, according to the invaluable report of the Simon commission, shows an excess of 9 million males over females and the gap, which is widest at the ages from 10 to 20, appears to be connected with customs such as purdah, early marriage and unskilful midwifery, which are detrimental to the females. The census shows that 2 million were married before the age of 10. April 1 the Sarda act, which prohibits the marriage of girls under 14 or boys under 18, came nominally into force. It was stated (The Journal, July 12, p. 137) that, "if adequately observed," it should prove beneficial physically and mentally to women. Unfortunately the condition has proved necessary. In a letter to the Times, Miss E. F. Rathbone, member of parliament
LONDON. JAMA. 1930;95(16):1188-1189. doi:10.1001/jama.1930.02720160048019