Taiwan's health ministry has warned that doctors conducting gender-selecting abortions may have their licenses revoked.
The stern warning came Chiu Shu-ti, director-general of the Bureau of the Health Promotion said last week that up to 3,000 female babies were presumed "missing" from Taiwan's population last year due to abortions.
"Such abortions have seriously violated medical ethics and human rights," said another official from the bureau.
"Any doctors caught conducting the abortions may face a fine of up to Tw$500,000 ($17,400) or even their licenses be revoked."
An initial investigation by the bureau last month found 10 out of every 11 babies delivered in a clinic in New Taipei City last year were boys. Nine out of 10 babies born in another hospital during the same period were male.
Government officials suspected that doctors at the two medical institutions had carried out the abortions on 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 common on the island, as in China and some other Asian countries.