Shandong battles to reduce serious gender imbalance

Updated: 2015-02-03 07:39


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Selective abortion remains a challenge in rural Shandong province, where some villages have purchased ultrasonic devices to detect the gender of fetuses, a member of the province's political advisory body said.

Lian Fang, an expert at the reproductive and genetic center of the hospital affiliated with Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, said on Saturday that she is treating an increasing number of women who have become infertile due to abortions.

"Most women had abortions because the fetus was not male," said Lian.

Shandong Governor Guo Shuqing said the province's gender imbalance is serious.

"In some regions, the gender ratio for newborns exceeds 120 boys for every 100 girls," Guo said in his government work report at the Shandong People's Congress on Sunday.

The overall gender imbalance in the province in 2013 was 116.6 males born for every 100 females, down from 119.4 in 2010, thanks to the province's crackdown on illegal gender testing and abortion.

However, the province is still trying to reach the goal of getting the ratio down to 114.3 by the end of the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15), said Yang Xinsheng, deputy head of the Shandong Health and Family Planning Commission.

"A lot of work needs to be done to meet the target as there is only one year to go," said Yang.

Guo said comprehensive management would be carried out to ease the gender imbalance.

Lian said that comprehensive management "will not only involve a crackdown on illegal abortions, but also policies to ensure benefits for new mothers and a better life for the aged".