China / Society

China to control sex ratio of newborns

( Updated: 2015-05-01 08:10

China to control sex ratio of newborns

Two nurses hold baby boy and girl twins at a hospital in Hefei, Central China’s Anhui province. [Photo/Xinhua]

Chinese authorities have launched a new campaign to crack down on gender exams and illegal abortions.

It's part of a campaign to try to re-balance the gender-inequality in China.

The latest stats suggest the registered birth ratio between girls and boys is 100 to 115.

This is well above the world-wide ratio, which is around 102 boys for every 100-girls born.

Li Bin with the National Health and Family Planning Commission says pre-knowledge of the sex of the child is one of the main reasons behind the disproportionate ratio.

"Fetus gender exams and abortions are the direct reason for the unusual sex ratio of newborns in China. In 2014, around 8-thousand cases were documented. However, only a small fraction of them were given serious punishments. Driven by both market demand and potential high profits, the number of cross-regional cases has been on the rise. It even generated an illegal industry chain in some areas."

The new campaign will be focused on clinics and agencies which have been suspected, but never caught, of carrying out gender exams and illegal abortions.

Under the current rules in China, gender-determination is only allowed when medical reasons apply.

A preference for boys, particularly in China's rural areas, is the main reason behind the growth of the illegal exams and abortions.

Hot Topics