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Criminal law amended for gender balance
Updated: 2005-12-25 09:01

An amendment to the Criminal Law aiming at preventing baby gender selection was submitted to China's top legislature, the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, for deliberation Saturday.

Earlier, China's population and family planning authorities stated that baby gender selection has brought serious unbalanced gender ratio in some parts of China.

"The artificial gender selection can jeopardize China's population structure and greatly incur social instability," said An Jian, deputy director of the Commission of Legislative Affairs of the NPC Standing Committee.

As a quite number of Chinese families, particularly the rural residents, prefer boys to girls, underground trade for ultrasonic check prevails between some parents and local hospitals. These parents will ask for abortion if fetus is found not male.

China's boy-girl ratio at birth is about 1.19 to 1, much higher than the world standard of 1.06 to 1.

The amendment specifies anyone who helps others or provides tools for baby selection purpose will be sentenced three years in jail and a fine.

China has intensified its crackdown on such gender selections as 29 provincial congresses have enacted regulations ruling that all baby gender selections of nonmedical necessity should be strictly prohibited.

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