13 million abortions every year in China – China’s latest society and culture news

Society & Culture

A summary of the top news in Chinese society and culture for October 3, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina newsletter, a convenient package of China’s business, political, and cultural news delivered to your inbox for free. Subscribe here.

FILE PHOTO: Baidu Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Robin Li speaks in Wuzhen town of Jiaxing, Zhejiang province, China, December 17, 2015. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

“I hope to see more condom ads and less abortion ads in the future.”

“Be careful and be responsible. The problem we have right now is the severe lack of sex education among teenagers.”

After World Contraception Day on September 26, which attracted wide attention (in Chinese) on Chinese social media, a new survey (in Chinese) organized by the All-China Women’s Federation revealed utter cluelessness about contraception options in China, a country where talking about sex still remains taboo for many.

Based on questionnaires collected from 2,378 respondents around China, including both major cities and rural areas, the survey shows that more than 80 percent of Chinese adults have misconceptions about contraception. According to the survey, in the past year, about 36 percent were still using unreliable methods such as withdrawal and menstrual cycle calculations. “The phenomenon is alarming,” said the head of Huakun Women’s Life Survey Center, a female-focused research institute that conducted the survey under the guidance of the All-China Women’s Federation. “These people are taking a bet by putting a woman’s body at risk.

The survey also found that more than 16 percent of female participants or female partners of male participants have had an unwanted pregnancy in the past year, and about 17 percent said either they or their partners had previously received abortions. A staggering number of 4.2 percent of female respondents even said they had endured more than one abortion within a year.

At a conference to reveal the survey results, a speaker from the National Working Committee on Children and Women under the State Council emphasized the importance of the research because the number of abortions in China each year is much higher than in the rest of the world. In 2016, China topped the list with an astounding number of 13 million abortions, with more than half of those who terminated unplanned pregnancies being under 25.