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Chinese school scraps pregnancy test requirement for students

The privacy rights of female student of a school in far western Chinese Muslim region was violated by authority’s decision to make them take pregnancy test, state media reported Friday.

The headmaster at the agriculture vocational school in Urumqi, capital of the heavily Muslim Xinjiang region, said school officials wanted to limit the number of unwanted pregnancies among students, 80 percent of whom are girls between the ages of 16 and 19, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

But public pressure over infringing the students' privacy rights prompted school officials to abandon the new policy, Xinhua said, citing the headmaster who was identified only by his surname, Wang.

Last week, the school ruled that all female students must take a pregnancy test as part of their annual physical, Xinhua reported. Results were to be divulged only to the school doctor and the student's personal tutor, but parents would be notified if a test came back positive, the report said.

The report did not say if any students had been tested or whether pregnant girls would be allowed to continue their studies.

Wang pointed out that no parents opposed the rule and said the tests were meant to protect the girls.

The number of pregnancies among unmarried young women is on the rise in Xinjiang, Xinhua said, without giving details.