Taiwan health authorities on Friday said that the doctors may be banned from performing gender screening of fetuses in a bid to contain sex-selective abortions.
The bureau of health promotion said it was reviewing the issue after up to 3,000 female babies were presumed to have been aborted in Taiwan last year.
AdvertisementA government probe found that 10 out of every 11 babies delivered in a clinic in New Taipei City last year were boys, while nine out of 10 babies born in another hospital during the same period were also male.
Government officials suspected that doctors at the two medical institutions had carried out the abortions at the request of parents who had viewed ultrasound scans which allowed them to predict the sex of their baby.
Although such abortions are illegal, the practice is believed to be common on the island, as in China and some other Asian countries, due to traditional preferences for male children.
Last year, Taiwan's birth rate hit a record low to one of the world's lowest when the number of newborns dwindled to 166,886 from 191,310 in 2009, government data showed.
However, it rose for the first time in 11 years in the first half of 2011, partly after a string of incentives offered by the government.
You May Also Like