BEIJING, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- A regulation is expected to be made to ban sex-selection abortion in China against the increasingly larger gender imbalance, according to the State Council.
Wang Yongqing, deputy head of the Office of Legislative Affairs of the State Council said "several laws and regulations on family planning have been listed on State Council's legislative plan for 2007 including the regulation to ban sex-selection abortion."
The State Council are studying the regulation and will release it at proper time, he said.
The new regulation will make clear the responsibility of governments and related departments at all levels and to ban sex-selection abortion for nonmedical purpose, he said.
Though sex-selection is banned by the Population and Family Planning Law and the Law on Maternal and Infant Health, there are currently no provisions on the applicable punishment for such acts.
The State Council planned to sum up various notices on sex-selection issued by different departments and made detailed regulations for the corresponding clauses, sources with the State Council said.
"There are still risks of fertility rate rebound in China," Wang said, explaining "gaps exist between people's attitudes towards child bearing and China's existing laws on family planning."
The family planning policy, implemented in 1979, encourages families to have only one child.
The policy has helped China to reduce the speed of population growth, delaying by four years the 1.3 billion figure reached at the beginning of 2005.
However, the traditional idea that more children bring more happiness still prevails in rural areas, challenging the country's population control efforts. And the traditional preference for boys sometimes leads to selective abortion, causingworries over the gender imbalance.
Currently, China's male population outnumbers that of females by 37 million, the most uneven in the world.
Statistics from the Information Office of the State Council show the sex ratio for newborns is 119 boys to 100 girls.