China Province Will Give Cash Awards for Reporting Sex-Selection Abortions

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 23, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

China Province Will Give Cash Awards for Reporting Sex-Selection Abortions Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 23, 2005

Henan, China ( — Anyone who lives in Henan, China, the country’s most populated province, will be given a cash award of more than $225 for reporting a case of a sex-selection abortion to government authorities. Last month, national government officials announced a nationwide ban on such abortion, often done when ultrasounds detect female unborn children.

Other provinces have implemented similar policies as Henan, home to some 97 million people.

Shenzhen, the southern boom town bordering Hong Kong, put in place a similar policy last year and said it would pay as much as $500 or more for information on sex-selection abortions.

The gender imbalance has grown since the Asian country introduced population control policies after a post World War II baby boom. The coercive one-child population control policy, which involves forced abortions, sterilizations and false imprisonment has been condemned worldwide.

Because they are prohibited from having more than one child, some Chinese families opt for abortions when ultrasounds reveal a girl baby. Rural Chinese often kill newborn infant girls as men are preferred to work farms and carry on the family line.

That’s led to a significant gender imbalance.

According to the 2000 census, there were about 117 males to 100 females in China and the latest government statistics show it at 119 to 100. For second births, occasionally allowed in rural areas, the national ratio was about 152 to 100.

China outlawed the used of ultrasounds for detecting the sex of the unborn baby without a legitimate medical reason, but the practice is still widespread.

Last month, and just one day after hitting the 1.3 billion population mark, Chinese officials banned sex-selection abortions.

China has drawn significant concerns worldwide because of the forced abortions, sterilizations and human rights abuses that population control officials use to enforce the one-child policy.

A recent Congressional hearing focused on the case of Mao Hengfeng, a woman who has been sentenced to 18 months in a labor prison camp for her fifteen years-long battle with the Chinese government after she lost her job when she became pregnant a second time.

She was also coerced into having an abortion after officials claimed she would receive her old job as a result. Instead, she was jailed and has been beaten and tortured

Just weeks after a Congressional committee held hearing on Mao Hengfeng’s forced imprisonment, a human rights watchdog group says the woman, who has protested their population control policy, will remain in prison an additional three months.

The gender imbalance led China’s Guizhou Province last month to prohibit some late-term abortions.