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China intends to redress sex ratio imbalance by amending Criminal Law

The Chinese government intends to redress cumulative sex ratio imbalance among new borns through modifying the Criminal Law, said Zhang Weiqing, director of the National Population and Family Planning Commission, at a conference on national population work in 2005 held Thursday.

We will strive for adding related articles and clauses into amendments of the Criminal Law to strike harder on clinically unnecessary sex identification on unborn babies and following abortion of baby girls, Zhang said.

Curbing the increasing sex ratio imbalance is on the top agenda of the government's population work this year, Zhang noted.

Out of traditional favor to boys, some Chinese parents secretly ask for type-B ultrasonic examination on their unborn child and chose to abort it if found a girl. This has resulted in a proportion of 1.19:1 of boys over girls among newborns, much higher than the normal rate of 1.06:1.

Zhang requested related departments to do a good job in feasibility studies and local departments to strengthen case analysis so as to provide practical measures and suggestions for criminal legislation.

In recent years China has issued the Law on Mother and Infant Healthcare and the Law on Population and Family Planning to crack down on artificial choosing of the sex of newborns.

Statistics from the Commission showed that 29 provinces, autonomous regions or municipalities throughout China have made local rules prohibiting sex identification of unborn babies and followed abortions. Provinces and autonomous regions including Shandong, Fujian, Guangxi particularly formulated local regulations in this regard.

If adopted, the criminal legislation will serve a powerful deterrent to parents intending to abort girls as well as medical institutions which provide technical support by the lure of money, experts pointed out.

Statistics tell that in recent two years China has investigated 3,605 such cases, with 2,409 persons involved punished and 978 sets of type-B ultrasonic machine confiscated.

People's Daily Online

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