Back to list

Lawmaker to propose ban on gender-biased abortion

2012/05/05 21:20:22

Taipei, May 5 (CNA) A ruling Kuomintang lawmaker said Saturday that he will propose a law amendment barring women from receiving abortions on the grounds of the gender of the fetus, in light of the growing disparity between the numbers of girls and boys born in recent years.

Under the current regulations, women who feel that pregnancy and giving birth will affect their mental health or family life are allowed to opt for an abortion.

Some, however, can exploit the regulations and use them as a legal basis for demanding an abortion if they find out that the baby is a girl, said Ting Shou-chung.

In the long run, the balance between the sexes will swing sharply toward males, while abortion surgeries will result in the waste of medical resources, according to Ting.

Ting said he will propose an amendment to the Genetic Health Act to prohibit gender-selective abortion and will call a public hearing to gather opinions from all quarters on the issue.

The Control Yuan, the country's highest government watchdog, reported last year a sex ratio at birth at between 108.5 and 110.8 boys per 100 girls between 2004 and 2010.

In other words, about 3,000 fewer girls were reported born each year than would be expected from natural birth rates, according to the report.

Compared with last year, the gender ratio of newborns rose to 108.2 boys per 100 girls in the first quarter of this year, according to the latest statistics from the Ministry of the Interior.

(By Tang Hsiao-tien and Scully Hsiao)