China Is Limiting Abortions to “Non-Medical” Reasons
The government says the clampdown is aimed towards improving the health of women’s reproductive system. However, it’s amidst worry about the nation’s declining birth rate.
China is limiting abortions
China will cut down on the number of abortions performed in the country for “non-medical purposes,” the cabinet of the government has stated that the new guidelines aim towards improving the health of women’s reproductive organs.
China has already passed strict regulations to stop the use of sex-selective abortions. Health officials also warned in 2018 that the practice of abortion to terminate unwanted pregnancies is dangerous to women’s bodies and could cause infertility.
The state council stated that it was implementing new rules, released on Monday, aiming to enhance women’s access to health services before conception.
The policy, however, is a part of Beijing’s plan to reverse China’s declining birth rate. Think tanks and policy analysts have identified as one of the significant challenges facing social policy shortly.
China is still the world’s most populous country, but the most recent census of population growth between 2011 until 2020 is the lowest since the 1950s and could decrease even more in the next few years. The rate of fertility fell by 1.6 live births in 2016, to 1.3 per woman by 2020.
After several years of trying to control the growth of the population, Beijing is now announcing new policies to encourage couples to be more parents.
In June, it was announced that it allowed every couple to get three kids instead of just two. The new policies designed to ease the cost of having children are being implemented.
The latest policy initiative reveals concern in Beijing over China’s large number of abortions. This has been aided by China’s policies on family planning.
In the last few decades, abortions have been used in conjunction with contraceptives and sterilization to reduce the growth of the population. According to statistics from the government, doctors in China conducted 336 million abortions from 1971 until 2013.
The practice of having a sexually selective abortion was commonplace, which means that China is now left with an enormous gender gap that is 30 million more men than women.
The trend towards limiting the number of women who can have an abortion on abortions has been for a few years. Jiangxi province published guidelines in 2018 that stipulated that women who are more than 14 weeks pregnant must get an agreement with three medical professionals before having an abortion.
The State Council said the new guidelines will also increase women’s access to pre-pregnancy health services.
National Health Commission data showed that between 2014 and the country had seen the average number of 9.7 million abortions each year, up 51% from an average of 2009-2013 despite the relaxation of family planning guidelines in 2015. The information didn’t indicate how many abortions were performed for medical reasons.
While China remains the world’s largest nation, The most recent census revealed that the growth in population from 2011 to 2020 was the least since 1950 and is expected to continue to decline in several years.
After several years of trying to control the population growth, Beijing has announced new policies that will encourage couples to be more parents.
In June, it was announced that it was now allowing every couple to get three kids instead. New guidelines designed to lessen the cost of having children are being implemented.