China: Drug bid to beat child ban
Updated: 2006-02-14 10:10
More Chinese women are exploiting easy access to fertility treatments to
skirt China's one-child limit, leading to a boom in numbers of multiple births,
an official newspaper reported Monday.
Over 300 twins
gather in Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu Province in this November 12, 2005
The main pediatric hospital in the eastern city of Nanjing recorded 90 births
of twins or triplets last year, up from an average of 20 in past years, a doctor
at the hospital told China Daily.
While many women underwent fertility treatment because they could not
conceive, others -- especially among the urban upper class and in conservative
rural areas -- did so specifically to get more babies per birth, the report
In the late 1970s China began limiting most couples to one child, punishing
violators in the hope of limiting the ballooning population, which now
stands at 1.3 billion.
Although the number of exceptions has broadened in recent years, the limits
While no exact figures were available, previous media reports said the number
of twins born annually has doubled nationwide. There are no penalties for
Fueling the trend is the accessibility of imported fertility drugs in clinics
The Ministry of Health issued a document in January 2005 prohibiting healthy
women using fertility medicine.
The only way to control the sale was by forcing chemists to ask for
prescriptions before selling the drugs, an unnamed Nanjing municipal Health
Department official said.
The phenomenon of taking fertility drugs specifically to produce twins is not
limited to China alone.
British doctors say around 10 percent of women seeking fertility treatment
specifically ask for twins.