China Has Abundance of Men Thanks to Forced Abortion Policies

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 12, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

China Has Abundance of Men Thanks to Forced Abortion Policies Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 12
, 2007

Beijing, China ( — Thanks to its family planning policies that include forced abortions and sterilizations, China will have 30 million more men than women in the marital age category in less than 15 years from now. That’s according to a new report the Asian nation released on Friday.

The disparity is a result of the gender imbalance that has resulted in a nation where cultural beliefs favor men and families are limited to one child apiece.

The China Daily official news outlet of the government there said tens of millions of men will not be able to find wives.

Liu Bohong, vice director of the women studies institute under the All-China Women’s Federation, told the news outlet, "Discrimination against the female sex remains the primary cause of China’s growing gender imbalance."

Because Chinese couples are limited to one child, abortion and infanticide are frequently used to ensure that child is a boy. Some girls are even sold or given away in order for Chinese families to have one son to comply with the family planning rules.

Sex selection abortions are frowned on as the government has been cracking down on the use of ultrasound to determine the sex of the baby and promoting the birth of girl babies in educational programs.

Chinese couples determined to have a son easily get around the new laws as a black market has sprung up of people with ultrasound machines in the trunks of cars or house closets are willing to divulge the sex of an unborn baby for a price.

As a result, the skewed male-female ratio is growing worse as 130 boys to 100 girls in the provinces of Guangdong and Hainan while it is between 104 and 107 boys for every 100 girls in most industrialized nations.

In China as a whole, the new report said China’s sex ratio for newborn babies in 2005 was 118 boys to 100 girls, a huge jump from 110 to 100 in 2000.

The gender imbalance isn’t just an issue for rural areas, where the cultural preferences for boys is higher. During the first 11 months in Beijing in 2006, there were 109 boys born in Beijing for every 100 girls.

That situation is already leading to problems such as the sexual trafficking of women, the sale of girl babies, higher crime and other concerns.

In December, the largest province in China issued new regulations prohibiting sex-selection abortions and the use of ultrasound technology to identify the sex of an unborn child for non-medical purposes.

The province of Henan is following the heels of other areas of China trying to crack down on the use of abortion to give birth to male children.

The new regulations, which take effect next year, require hospitals to put together expert panels to identify the gender of an unborn child only when medically necessary. Otherwise, medical facilities are not allowed to reveal the information.

Abortions must be reported to county family planning authorities and certified that they were not done because the unborn child is a girl.

Women who have a sex-selection abortion in violation of the guidelines can be fined about $255 US, which is considerable for most women who live in economic squalor.

Hospitals or doctors who do a sex-selection abortion on a woman can face fines ranging from about $630 to $1,250 and the local government will confiscate the from the abortion practitioner the cost of the abortion.

The new rules also prohibit the sale of abortion drugs and family planning officials will obtain the drugs that are currently on store shelves throughout the province.

China instituted the coercive family planning policy in 1979 and Chinese women and families have been the victims of an intense campaign ever since that has involved forced abortions and sterilizations, and the arrest and harassment of those who resist it.

But the policy has caused the gender imbalance to explode.

Ironically, China distributed ultrasound machines to local clinics on a wide scale after the coercive family planning policy was instituted to ensure women were not pregnant and violating the one-child program.

Some Chinese are selling their girl babies to those seeking girls for their sons. Chinese officials have uncovered massive baby-selling schemes including finding newborns in bags in the back of trucks and on buses on their way to be sold.

The poor parents of unwanted newborn girls sell their babies for a little as $8.