Social Issues

China to limit abortions done for non-medical reasons

Beijing, Sep 27 (EFE).- China will reduce the number of abortions done for non-medical reasons, the government said Monday, in an apparent bid to reverse its declining birth rate that has set off alarm bells with the progressive aging of the Chinese population.

The State Council or the cabinet issued new guidelines on family planning to promote birth rates and guarantee gender equality.

The cabinet has asked the local governments to implement the new measure thoroughly.

The guidelines said the number of abortions for “non-medical purposes” would be reduced but did not clarify that the measure would address the declining birth rate.

Previously, the country had approved measures to prevent sex-selective abortions, pointing out that abortion of unwanted pregnancies is harmful to women.

The new guidelines said the measure would improve women’s reproductive health and give them more access to healthcare services before and after pregnancy.

It would develop an “economic-social environment” and “guarantee the adequate development of women and their contributions to society,” the guidelines said.

It said the move would reduce mortality in childbirth, especially in rural areas.

The authorities in July predicted that the number of births in China would continue to decline in 2021, exacerbating the problem of an aging society.

In May, the government authorized families to have a third child.

In 2020, the number of births fell for the fourth consecutive year, with 12 million compared to 14.65 million in 2019.

The fertility rate remained at 1.3 children per woman, below the 2.1 estimated by Nations United to maintain a stable population.

China imposed the one-child policy in 1979 to mitigate the population growth encouraged by the first President Mao Zedong.

Experts say it has led to the disappearance of girls, abandoned or aborted due to the preference of having a boy.

According to the 2020 census, the population of men is 723.34 million for 688.44 women.

China remains the most populous country with 1.412 billion people. But the latest census has shown that the population growth from 2011 to 2020 was the slowest since the 1950s. EFE


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