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Wednesday, May 6, 2015, 20:55

China steps up fight against sex-selective abortions

By Agencies
China steps up fight against sex-selective abortions
A Chinese nurse attends to several newly-born babies at a hospital in Huaibei, east China's Anhui province on July 5, 2010. (CHINA OUT AFP PHOTO)

BEIJING - China has begun a new campaign against illegal prenatal gender tests and sex-selective abortions to help address the country's gender imbalance, state news agency Xinhua said on Wednesday.

Like most Asian nations, China has a traditional bias for sons, who are seen the only guarantee to pass on the family line.

Many families abort female fetuses and abandon baby girls to ensure their one child is a son, with 115.88 boys born for every 100 girls last year, against a global average of 103 to 107.

The 12th Five-Year Plan set a target of 115:100 to be achieved by 2015.

The new campaign will run until November, and concentrate on health centers and family planning institutions, as well as illegal fertility agencies, clinics and itinerant doctors, the report said.

The government will also tighten controls on medical equipment and medicine used in both ultrasounds and abortions, and blacklist any organization found to be complicit in either activity, Xinhua added.

Researchers have warned that large sex-ratio imbalances could lead to instability as more men remain unmarried, raising the risks of anti-social and violent behavior.

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