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Jail for those who help sex selection
By Liu Chang (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-12-26 05:31

Those who assist others with foetal gender selection that leads to abortion will be jailed, according to a revision to the Criminal Law that was discussed by top legislators yesterday.

The amendment was submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) at the ongoing session, which opened on Saturday and will close on Thursday.

"The revision aimed to prevent the selection of a child's gender, when not conducted for medical purposes," An Jian, vice-director of the Commission of Legislative Affairs of the NPC Standing Committee said in a report.

Baby gender selection has caused a serious imbalance in the gender ratio in some parts of China, sources with NPC Education, Science, Culture and Public Health Committee and the National Population and Family Planning Commission said earlier.

"Artificial gender selection can jeopardize China's population structure, leading to social instability," An said.

As quite a number of Chinese families, particularly in rural areas, prefer boys to girls, unauthorized services providing ultrasounds of the unborn child are prevalent among some parents and local hospitals. These parents would then abort their child should it not be a male.

China's boy to girl ratio stands at 1.19 to 1, much higher than the world standard of 1.06 to 1.

The amendment specifies that anyone who assists others with gender selection will face heavy fines and a three-year jail sentence.

China has intensified a crackdown on such gender selections as 29 provincial congresses have enforced regulations ruling that all child gender selections without any medical necessity should be strictly prohibited.

(China Daily 12/26/2005 page2)

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