Henan bans gender-selective abortions

By Coldness Kwan (Chinadaily.com.cn)
Updated: 2006-12-13 14:04

Henan, China's most populous province, has issued regulations banning pre-birth gender identification of fetuses and gender-selective abortions for non-medical purposes, according to the Zhengzhou Evening News on December 11.

Some Chinese, especially those in rural areas, prefer to have sons, following the old proverb "the more sons, the more happiness". The regulations are the first local attempts at targeting the current gender imbalance, and will take effect from next year.

According to the regulations, irregular fetal development must be identified by expert panels from designated hospitals. Medical institutes qualified to identify the gender of a fetus for medical purposes will be designated by the provincial health authority and announced to the public next year: Any other medical institute or individual will not be legally allowed to identify the gender of a fetus.

Expert panels responsible for fetal gender identification for medical purposes must consist of no more than three individuals. Whether or not an abortion is necessary must be determined by the operation institute, an must be reported to the county population and family planning authority.

Women who seek abortions who are not legally entitled to have a child as stipulated by Article 17 and 18 of the Henan Population and Family Planning Regulation, or are over 20 and over 14 weeks pregnant must present a certificate issued by the population and family planning institutes at the town or community levels. Those who are under legal childbearing conditions and are over 14 weeks pregnant but have gender selective abortions will be fined no less than 2,000 yuan.

Those who organize or introduce gender-selective abortions to women over 14 weeks pregnant will be fined 5,000 to 10,000 yuan, and illegal profits from the abortion will be confiscated. National civil servants involved will be punished administratively.

Abortion drugs will be banned from being sold and those on the shelf now will be confiscated by food and drug administrators at the county level; Illegal gains from the drugs will be confiscated and sellers will be fined no more than 20,000 yuan.

Drug producers and wholesalers will be banned from selling abortion drugs to uncertified institutes or individuals.

Illegal profits and equipment from institutes or individuals who violate the regulations will be confiscated and fines of two to six times the illegal profit amount of no less than 10,000 yuan and 10,000 to 30,000 yuan for amounts less than 10,000 yuan will be levied.

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