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China Airs Its Abortion Problem

Each year there are 20 million births in China and 13 million abortions. Each year in the US, there are four million live births and fewer than one million abortions. Chinese authorities are admitting that poor sex education and a lack of knowledge about contraception are reasons for the high rate.

Without the protection of proper contraception, pregnant women who have already had the legal number of children turn to abortion. But China's strict family planning laws, which limit women to one child unless the first child is a girl born to a family in a rural area, aren't solely to blame for terminated pregnancies. Single women, often between the ages of 20-29 and without children, are the most likely to seek an abortion.

The high rate of abortion is making front page news in China, even though it's not the highest rate in the world according to UN figures. Russia takes that prize, with an abortion rate more than double that of China's.

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
Glittersniffer Glittersniffer 7 years
It's sad that there's no sharing of family planning responsibility. I've heard of men telling women that they won't wear a condom, if she gets pregnant it's her fault, but they're not sacrificing. Urgh. Sorry, sex is sharing too, pal, and if you can't share responsibility, guess what! You're not sharing my bed either!
Sarana Sarana 7 years
It is illegal to find out if you are having a boy or a girl. If course it happens but it's not the main reason for abortion. The problem is the lack of sex ed. Many people don't use condoms or other methods. Also the one child policy is not as strict as American media is always reporting it. In Shanghai the government is actually encouraging people to have a second child if the mother and father are both only children. This is also applicable in the rest of the country. Minorities in the cities can have 2 children and minorities in the country side can have 4 children. There is a reason for this policy and it has helped, can you imagine if it was never instated? The unemployment rate in China would be huge and there would be issues with water, electricity, food etc.
feinbaby feinbaby 7 years
its not just poor sex education.. isn't there a lot of female foeticide in china?? aborting girl babies just because they're girls..?
runningesq runningesq 7 years
Janneth, I agree. I THINK that hospitals in China do not tell the parents the sex of the baby to avoid sex-selective abortions. Sad.
RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 7 years
Holy cow! There are MORE abortions than births in Russia? that is frightening.
cirrus1701 cirrus1701 7 years
Horrifying! Even more so after that huge earthquake they experienced some time ago! (The name of the province escapes me right now.)
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
Saddening. Aside from the topic, I think that picture is poignant.
filmgirl81 filmgirl81 7 years
I've heard about the lack of sex education in China, and it makes Americans looks like sexperts. It's quite sad.
janneth janneth 7 years
Of the 13 million abortions, the overwhelming majority must be female fetuses.
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