.- The Chinese government has committed to do more to end sex-selection abortions and to correct a growing gender imbalance in the country.
The official Chinese news agency, Xinhua, reported on Monday that the government will increase enforcement of laws designed to prohibit the use of ultrasounds to determine the sex of an unborn child.
A government document states that the gender-ratio imbalance … amounts to “a hidden danger” for society that will “affect social stability.'”
China instituted its coercive family planning policy in 1979. Since then, many Chinese women and families have undergone forced abortions and sterilizations, and many citizens who resisted the policy have faced arrest and harassment.
The result of the policy has led to a male-female ratio of 119-100. The number is closer to 103-100 in most industrialized nations.
As a result, large numbers of Chinese men are finding it difficult to get married. The general imbalance is also blamed for an increase in crime, the trafficking of girl babies, prostitution, and the forcing of women into sexual slavery and domestic servitude.
Chinese couples are limited to one child for population control. Therefore abortion and infanticide are frequently used to ensure that child is a boy, who can carry on the family name or run the family farm.
Most Chinese couples, however, can easily get around the new laws thanks to a black market of citizens who have purchased ultrasound machines and are willing to determine the sex of an unborn child from the trunk of their car or in their private homes.
Last year, China scrapped plans to prohibit sex-selection abortions altogether, but has pushed forward educational campaigns lauding virtues of baby girls.