Lifestyle & Belief

Chinese woman arrested for backseat ultrasounds


A couple and their baby wait to board a train at the Wuchang Railway Station in Hubei Province, China. A wealthy couple in China has conceived 8 children, ignoring the country's strict family-planning laws.



A Chinese woman has been arrested for performing ultrasounds in the back seats of cars and telling parents the gender of the fetus, the Associated Press reported. Under Chinese law, sonograms are allowed, but the gender of the fetus cannot be identified. 

China's one-child policy, imposed in 1980, and the culture's bias for boys has caused millions of parents to abort their female fetuses. Sex selection in China has lead to "the largest, the highest, and the longest" gender imbalance in the world, MSNBC reported in 2004.

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And a study from last May found that in the next 20 years, experts expect a 10 to 20 percent excess of young men in China and India thanks to sex selection, Science Daily reported.  

The Chinese government has tried to address the gender imbalance. In a recent report, officials said that there were 117.78 boys born last year to every 100 girls. 

That figure is "alarmingly high," but an improvement from previous years, the AP reported last month. Officials credited the government's crackdown on gender testing with the improvement. 

In the case of the backseat ultrasounds, the Xinhua News Agency said a woman was arrested in Wuhan on charges that she was part of a group of three people and a network of middlemen that performed gender testing.

A pregnant woman saw the "roving ultrasound gang" and reported them to police. She said she was attacked by the suspect's husband and others as she left the police station, the AP reported.