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Fujian: Legislation to Curb Gender Imbalance at Birth
The first legislation to prevent gender imbalance at birth is soon to become a reality in Fujian, a rich province on the south coast of China that has come to realize the severity of the gender imbalance birth rate (more boys than girls) that has occurred since the 1990s and it is now trying to do something about it.

China News Agency reported recently that the Standing Committee of Fujian Provincial People's Congress is currently busy considering the draft proposal, “Prevention Ordinance Against the Gender Imbalances at Birth in Fujian”. After experiencing more than 20 years of serious gender imbalance problems, Fujian made up its mind to do something about it.

Both the nation-wide census in 1990 and in 2000 show that Fujian ranks in the top ten provinces for a gender imbalance birth rate, higher than the national average while China is well above the worldwide norm. Apart from some mistakes in statistics, the main reason put forward for this is that couples choose male embryos once they know the sex of the baby and terminate the pregnancy if a baby girl. Fujian has found more than 50 cases of termination in this manner as well as cases involving dozens of women who aborted their baby girls after they knew their sex.

To curb this phenomenon, early in 1996, the Standing Committee of Fujian Provincial People's Congress passed a regulation called, “Fujian Province Prohibits Non-medical Sex Selection”, which marked the first sort of local legislation in China.

Therefore to stop the growth of gender imbalance at birth, further and tougher measures are needed. “Prevention Ordinance Against the Gender Imbalances at Birth in Fujian”, is now being discussed by the third meeting of the Standing Committee of 10th Fujian Provincial People's Congress, taking concrete measures on sex selection, pregnancy termination operations and the sale of termination tablets.

(China.org.cn June 4, 2003)

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