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Reprod Freedom News. 1994 Dec 2;3(21):6-7.

People's Republic of China passes "eugenics" law.

[No authors listed]



On October 27, 1994, China passed the "Maternal and Infant Health Care Law." This law regulates support for maternal and child health and also requires physicians to recommend a postponement of marriage if either member of a couple has an infectious, contagious disease or an active mental disorder. If one member of a couple has a serious hereditary disease, the couple may only marry if they agree to use longterm contraception or to undergo sterilization. If prenatal tests reveal that a fetus has a serious hereditary disease or serious deformity, the physician must advise the pregnant woman to have an abortion, and the law states that the pregnant woman "should" follow this recommendation. This statute also bans determining the sex of a fetus through the use of technology unless such tests are medically necessary. This ban is the reaction to the combination of China's one-child policy and the technological ability to predict the sex of a fetus which has led to a change in China's sex ratio from 103.8 boys/100 girls in 1953 to 118 boys/100 girls in 1992.

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