South Korea ends ban on doctors revealing sex of babies

South Korea's Constitutional Court overturned a ban on doctors telling parents the gender of unborn babies, saying Thursday the country has grown out of a preference for sons and that the restriction violates parents' right to know. South Korea introduced the ban in 1987 to try to prevent abortions of female fetuses in a country that had traditionally favored sons in the widespread Confucian belief that males carry on family lines. Abortion has also been illegal but practiced widely. On Thursday, the Constitutional Court said it was too restrictive to ban doctors from telling parents the gender of the unborn for the entire pregnancy because there was little chance of aborting fetuses older than six months due to risks for mothers. "The legislation's purpose is recognized in that it helps resolve the sex-ratio imbalance and protects the fetuses' right to life," the court said in the ruling. "But it overly limits the basic rights of parents and physicians to put a blanket ban through the latter half of pregnancy."