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China Restricts Abortions To Counter Shrinking Population


After three decades of abortions during the one-child era, the procedure advertised in China as “safe, quick and painless” at bus stops, in magazines and on flyers is now facing restrictions.

In the newly issued Guidance on Women’s Development 2021-2030 by China’s State Council, the phrase calling for “reducing non-medically necessary abortions” caught the public’s attention.

The notice, released September 27 with no specific details on enforcement, sparked discussion among netizens.

Activists criticized the government’s interference with women’s reproductive rights.

Zhang Jing, the founder of Women’s Rights in China, a New York-based NGO, told VOA Mandarin that the reduction of non-medically necessary abortions is another example of how Beijing authorities interfere with women’s reproductive rights.

“Now that the Chinese government has noticed there’s a population shortage, they are reversing the policies to encourage people to have babies. I do believe this is going to be mandatory,” she told VOA Mandarin in a phone interview last week.

“From forced abortions in the one-child policy era, to forced childbirth in the three-child policy era, human rights, as well as women’s rights, were not taken into consideration in the formation of these population policies,” she added.


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