Chinese Regime to Cut Down on Abortions After 9.5 Million Performed per Year

The Chinese regime pledged to reduce abortions in 2022 after about 9.5 million abortions were performed annually in the country, almost as many as the 10.6 million births that were recorded in 2021. The Chinese National Health Commission will intervene in abortions performed by unmarried people in 2022 because “more than 40 percent of abortions were obtained by unmarried young people whose age is under 24,” the commission-run Health News reported on Feb. 16. Young people were targeted for another reason, according to Shanghai-based media HealthInsight on Feb. 15. The report quoted Chen Suwen, obstetrician director at the Family Planning Department at Beijing Maternity Hospital, saying that 25 percent of abortions were done by married women because their fetuses stopped growing. The majority of these women had abortions before, which damaged their bodies and caused their fetuses to stop growing when they became pregnant later. “We did statistics, which show the more abortions a woman had, the more chance that she can’t get pregnant [when she wants], or the fetus can’t grow mature [if she becomes pregnant]. Even if the fetus can grow mature, the woman will have pregnancy complications and it is hard for her to deliver during labor,” Chen said. Chen’s department performs 600 to 700 abortions every month. Chen said she didn’t want the abortions to become sterilizations, and tried to educate women on how to prevent conception and the bad consequences of the abortion. Newborn babies lie on a hospital bed in Beijing, China on Dec. 1, 2008. (Frederic Brown/AFP via Getty Images) Chinese culture doesn’t support premarital sex, and the society doesn’t support unmarried women to be mothers. However, almost 30 percent of the abortions were performed by married women pregnant with healthy fetuses, according to Chen. A Social Phenomenon Health News reported the commission’s official data of 9.762 million abortions performed in 2019, 220,000 more than in 2018. China has been suffering from a low birth rate in the recent decade. The one-child policy of one couple only allowed to have one child, which the regime launched in the late 1970s, caused a lack of women of childbearing age. To encourage people to have more children, the regime changed the policy into a two-child one in 2016 and then a three-child one in May 2021. The latest data shows the policy-changing hasn’t had a big impact. China’s National Bureau of Statistics announced on Jan. 18 that 10.62 million people were born in China in 2021, while 10.14 million people died, which means a net population increase of 480,000, or 0.034 percent. In 2021, the the United States had the lowest numeric growth in history, but was still higher than China. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the 2021 U.S. population growth rate was 0.1 percent. Abortion is one of the reasons why China doesn’t have enough births, because abortions kill the fetuses as well as damage womens’ health, according to Health News. However, abortion has been a Chinese social phenomenon for decades. A woman holds a baby at a park in Beijing, China on May 12, 2021. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images) From 1971, when the Chinese regime first promoted birth control, to 2017, the year that the regime changed the one-child policy to a two-child one, 390 million abortions were performed in China, most because of the one-child policy, Chinese think tank Evergrande Research Institute quoted official data in January 2019 (pdf). After the regime changed the policy, the abortion number didn’t decrease. State-run Beijing Youth reported on Jan 26, 2015, that abortion advertisements misled people, especially young Chinese women, to “not think abortion is a big deal.” “The ‘painless abortion’ advertisements can be seen everywhere [in the streets],” Beijing Youth wrote. “The operation will be done in three minutes. The ‘safe, cheap, and won’t impact work’ claims encourage young ladies to get an abortion operation” when they get pregnant by accident, and neglect to use contraception. State-run Shanxi Times reported in March 2021 that its latest survey showed that 71 percent of Chinese people had premarital sex. State-run Xinhua reported in September 2015 that over half of those engaging in premarital sex didn’t use any contraception method, over 20 percent of the women involved in these behaviors got pregnant, and 91 percent of the pregnancies ended in abortions. Follow Nicole Hao is a Washington-based reporter focused on China-related topics. Before joining the Epoch Media Group in July 2009, she worked as a global product manager for a railway business in Paris, France.

Chinese Regime to Cut Down on Abortions After 9.5 Million Performed per Year

The Chinese regime pledged to reduce abortions in 2022 after about 9.5 million abortions were performed annually in the country, almost as many as the 10.6 million births that were recorded in 2021.

The Chinese National Health Commission will intervene in abortions performed by unmarried people in 2022 because “more than 40 percent of abortions were obtained by unmarried young people whose age is under 24,” the commission-run Health News reported on Feb. 16.

Young people were targeted for another reason, according to Shanghai-based media HealthInsight on Feb. 15.

The report quoted Chen Suwen, obstetrician director at the Family Planning Department at Beijing Maternity Hospital, saying that 25 percent of abortions were done by married women because their fetuses stopped growing. The majority of these women had abortions before, which damaged their bodies and caused their fetuses to stop growing when they became pregnant later.

“We did statistics, which show the more abortions a woman had, the more chance that she can’t get pregnant [when she wants], or the fetus can’t grow mature [if she becomes pregnant]. Even if the fetus can grow mature, the woman will have pregnancy complications and it is hard for her to deliver during labor,” Chen said.

Chen’s department performs 600 to 700 abortions every month. Chen said she didn’t want the abortions to become sterilizations, and tried to educate women on how to prevent conception and the bad consequences of the abortion.

Epoch Times Photo
Newborn babies lie on a hospital bed in Beijing, China on Dec. 1, 2008. (Frederic Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

Chinese culture doesn’t support premarital sex, and the society doesn’t support unmarried women to be mothers. However, almost 30 percent of the abortions were performed by married women pregnant with healthy fetuses, according to Chen.

A Social Phenomenon

Health News reported the commission’s official data of 9.762 million abortions performed in 2019, 220,000 more than in 2018.

China has been suffering from a low birth rate in the recent decade. The one-child policy of one couple only allowed to have one child, which the regime launched in the late 1970s, caused a lack of women of childbearing age. To encourage people to have more children, the regime changed the policy into a two-child one in 2016 and then a three-child one in May 2021.

The latest data shows the policy-changing hasn’t had a big impact.

China’s National Bureau of Statistics announced on Jan. 18 that 10.62 million people were born in China in 2021, while 10.14 million people died, which means a net population increase of 480,000, or 0.034 percent. In 2021, the the United States had the lowest numeric growth in history, but was still higher than China. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the 2021 U.S. population growth rate was 0.1 percent.

Abortion is one of the reasons why China doesn’t have enough births, because abortions kill the fetuses as well as damage womens’ health, according to Health News. However, abortion has been a Chinese social phenomenon for decades.

Epoch Times Photo
A woman holds a baby at a park in Beijing, China on May 12, 2021. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

From 1971, when the Chinese regime first promoted birth control, to 2017, the year that the regime changed the one-child policy to a two-child one, 390 million abortions were performed in China, most because of the one-child policy, Chinese think tank Evergrande Research Institute quoted official data in January 2019 (pdf).

After the regime changed the policy, the abortion number didn’t decrease. State-run Beijing Youth reported on Jan 26, 2015, that abortion advertisements misled people, especially young Chinese women, to “not think abortion is a big deal.”

“The ‘painless abortion’ advertisements can be seen everywhere [in the streets],” Beijing Youth wrote. “The operation will be done in three minutes. The ‘safe, cheap, and won’t impact work’ claims encourage young ladies to get an abortion operation” when they get pregnant by accident, and neglect to use contraception.

State-run Shanxi Times reported in March 2021 that its latest survey showed that 71 percent of Chinese people had premarital sex. State-run Xinhua reported in September 2015 that over half of those engaging in premarital sex didn’t use any contraception method, over 20 percent of the women involved in these behaviors got pregnant, and 91 percent of the pregnancies ended in abortions.


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Nicole Hao is a Washington-based reporter focused on China-related topics. Before joining the Epoch Media Group in July 2009, she worked as a global product manager for a railway business in Paris, France.