China to punish sex-selective abortion
Updated: 2006-08-02 11:52
BEIJING - A Chinese family planning official said the government will still
punish people who intentionally abort babies girls even though the legislature
decided in June not to make it a crime, state media said.
The official Xinhua News Agency quoted Zhang Weiqing, an official with the
State Commission for Population and Family Planning, as saying that the
government would continue to prosecute institutions and individuals involved in
illegal sex-selective abortions.
Xinhua said late Tuesday that the government has prosecuted 3,000 cases of
fetus gender identification and selective abortions for non-medical reasons over
the past two years, without giving details.
China does not currently outlaw abortions to select a child's gender.
However, a family planning regulation prohibits the practice except for medical
reasons. The regulation does not spell out punishments.
In China 119 boys are born for every 100 girls, while globally the average
ratio is about 105 boys to 100 girls.
In June, China's legislature scrapped an amendment to the criminal law that
would have banned abortions based on the sex of the fetus. Xinhua said that some
lawmakers argued that it would be too difficult to collect evidence for
prosecution and that pregnant women should have the right to know the gender of
their unborn child.
Family planning experts and some legislators have argued that the lack of
clear criminal penalties has encouraged the use of abortions by families who
want a son.