As China tries to combat the imbalance in abortions due to the one-child policy, police have arrested a woman who has reportedly been giving expectant mothers illegal ultrasounds in the back of a car. The purpose of the ultrasounds is to determine the gender of the fetus, but this practice is forbidden in China. The Washington Post reports:
The official Xinhua News Agency said a woman surnamed Hu was arrested last month in Wuhan and is suspected of being part of a group of three people and a network of middlemen who provided gender testing across the city of 4.5 million.
Women usually paid around 700 yuan ($110) for the service, it said.
Gender testing, although banned, is rampant and usually takes place in clinics.
China has an alarmingly high gender imbalance. The government says that last year there were 117.78 boys born to every 100 girls. The natural gender ratio at birth is between 103 and 107 boys to every 100 girls.
While the case is still under investigation police have also fined a man surnamed Peng 100,000 yuan after he confessed to acting as a middleman in the operation.
This is the third time Hu has been implicated in illegal fetus gender tests in the area, according to authorities with the Hubei Provincial Population and Family Planning Commission.
She was imprisoned for half a year in 2010 after being arrested and accused of running the tests for the second time.
With no certified medical qualification, she is thought to have mastered using ultrasound devices while a trainee nurse several years ago.