UP to 3000 female babies were presumed “missing” from Taiwan’s population last year due to illegal sex-selective abortion.
Abortion practices caused the gap, Chiu Shu-ti, director-general of the Bureau of Health Promotion, was quoted by the United Daily News.
The bureau last month launched an investigation after it found that 10 out of every 11 babies delivered in a clinic in New Taipei City last year were boys. Nine out of every 10 babies delivered in a Taipei City hospital during the same period of time were also male.
Government officials suspected that doctors at the two medical institutions might have conducted the illegal abortions after expectant parents had viewed ultrasound scans which allowed them to predict the sex of their baby.
Under Taiwan’s law, any doctor found guilty of conducting such an abortion may face a fine of up to Tw$500,000 ($16,300).
Despite the law, the practice has been in common on the island, as in China and some other Asian countries, due to traditional cultural norms which value males more than females.