China: Four govt agencies join hands to combat illegal abortions

Beijing: The Chinese government has decided to crackdown on the illegal gender testing of foetuses and subsequent abortions by engaging its four departments in a novel joint endeavour.

 China: Four govt agencies join hands to combat illegal abortions

Credit: Allonsybadwolf

Four government departments -- the National Health and Family Planning Commission, Ministry of Public Security, State Administration for Industry and Commerce, and China Food and Drug Administration -- in a joint drive, have posted a draft regulation online and are inviting public comments, China Daily reported Thursday.

Sex-determination tests can be used only for legitimate medical purposes such as checking for genetic diseases, according to the draft.

A woman whose pregnancy meets the State's requirements may have an abortion only if the foetus has a genetic disease or serious defect, or if her life or health would be threatened if she continued.

The regulation is designed to help balance the country's sex ratio at birth.

According to the draft, the authorities would establish a joint law enforcement system operating at all levels to combat illegal sex-determination tests and abortions.

Health and family planning authorities would organise and coordinate the enforcement of the law, while industry and commerce administrations would monitor advertisements for illegal testing.

Food and drug administrations would monitor sales of equipment and medicines employed in the illegal procedures and the uses they are put to. Public security organisations would punish those who break the law.

Sex-determination tests are prohibited because of the traditional preference for having a baby boy rather than a girl.

The sex ratio in 2013 was 117 boys born for every 100 girls, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Internationally, the normal range is between 103 and 107 boys for every 100 girls.

Despite repeated crackdowns, the illegal activities continue. Many couples visit illegal clinics in China, many others travel to Hong Kong or Thailand to undergo sex-selective procedures so they can have a boy.

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Updated Date: Sep 04, 2014 16:23:37 IST