Tuesday, August 28, 2007
China Planning Stricter Sex-Selective Abortion Regulations To Counter Gender Imbalance, Official Says
The Chinese government plans to implement new regulations to ban sex-selective abortion in an effort to counter the widening gender imbalance, Wang Yongqing, deputy head of the Office of Legislative Affairs of the State Council, recently said, Xinhua/People's Daily reports. Sex selection is currently banned in the country under the Population and Family Planning Law ,and the Law on Maternal and Infant Health, but there are no provisions on the applicable punishment if the laws are violated (Xinhua/People's Daily, 8/25).
China's one-child-per-family policy seeks to keep the country's population, now 1.3 billion, at about 1.7 billion by 2050. According to the "Strategic Research Report on National Population Development," released by the National Population and Family Planning Commission, the country's birth rate has decreased from 5.8 children per woman in the 1970s -- when the one-child policy was implemented -- to 1.8 children per woman currently. The one-child policy has led to a gender imbalance in the country because of a preference for male children. According to government statistics, about 117 boys are born for every 100 girls born in China, compared with an average of between 104 to 107 boys per 100 girls in industrialized countries (Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report, 1/16).