Chinese Province Will Ban Sex-Selection Abortions To Curb Gender Imbalance

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 17, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Chinese Province Will Ban Sex-Selection Abortions To Curb Gender Imbalance Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 17, 2004

Zhejiang, China ( — Just days after the Chinese government announced plans to provide financial incentives to families who have newborn girls, a Chinese province has announced that it will ban all abortions done to determine the gender of the baby.

Officials with East China’s Zhejiang Province have announced they will strictly prohibit such abortions.

The government plans to begin an educational campaign designed to lessen the preference for boys — especially in rural areas. It will provide more oversight int he use of ultrasounds for medical, rather than sex-selection reasons, and will crack down on those who use them to foster sex-selection abortions.

The Zhejiang Provincial Family Planning Commission says 111 boys are born for every 100 girls. In some areas of the province, the ratio was as much as 120 to 100.

"It will take all sectors to work towards the goal to ensure the implementation of existing laws and policies that punish perpetrators in sex selection," province Deputy Secretary Xia Baolong told China Daily.

China’s population control program of forced abortions and sterilizations has caused an epidemic of familles seeking to give birth to a baby boy. Sensing that this trend needs to be reversed, national government officials are instituting a new program paying couples to have female babies.

In China overall, about 117 boys are born for every 100 girls. In most industrialized countries the numbers are much closer to parity.

In an effort to tackle the growing gender imbalance, China will offer free schooling and better housing for families with girls. Families with girls will also be given preferential treatment in welfare allowances and employment.

The China Daily newspaper reports that family planning officials want its Care for Girls pilot program to bring the ratio down to between 103 to 107 boys born for ever 100 girls.

In Chinese culture, boys have traditionally been more valued than girls — especially in rural areas. Boys are expected to do much of the work, especially farming, and inherit land and property from their fathers.

But it wasn’t until the adoption of the one-child policy — when population control officials began forcing familles to have abortions or sterilizations and jailing of burning down the houses of dissenters — that Chinese families began to kill girl babies in such large numbers.

"China’s notorious one-child policy has been a death sentence for a whole generation of girls," notes Stephen Mosher, President of the Population Research Institute.

"Since the beginning of the one-child policy in 1981, well over a hundred million baby girls in China have died by abortion, infanticide, abandonment, and neglect," explains Mosher.

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