China tells single women not to have abortions – sparking fears they may be FORCED to give birth – as country faces demographic crisis
- A new campaign will see China advise single woman against having abortions
- The family planning agency said it will ‘educate’ unmarried women on abortion
- It aims to reduce abortions carried out for ‘non-medical purposes’ among adults
- China faces a demographic crisis as its birth rate fell for fifth consecutive year
China will advise single women not to have abortions, prompting concerns that they may be forced to give birth, the country’s family planning agency has claimed.
The China Family Planning Association (CFPA), which once enforced terminations under the one child policy, said it will ‘educate’ unmarried women against having abortions in a campaign which hopes to boost birth rates.
It claimed under orders from the State Council, it aims to reduce unexpected pregnancies and abortions carried out for ‘non-medical purposes’ among young adults, The Times reported.
Instead, it is believed that the family planning agency will aim to ‘improve reproductive health’ by prompting traditional values to try and encourage people to have more children.
It comes as China is facing a demographic crisis after its birth rate fell for the fifth consecutive year, with fewer babies born in 2021 than during the Great Famine under Chairman Mao.
The campaign has led to fears that women could be forced to have babies and have their rights restricted.
The China Family Planning Association (CFPA) said it will ‘educate’ unmarried women against having abortions in a campaign which hopes to boost birth rates (stock image)
But Hu Xijin, a former editor-in-chief of the state-run newspaper Global Times, dismissed the concerns as ‘unimaginable’ and ‘totally politically unfeasible’.
He told The Times: ‘Such a policy will run contrary to the global trend for women to decide if she will have an abortion.’
It is believed that the campaign will involve a task force being set up for education projects, but there were few other details released on how the campaign will work.
In China, around 9.5million abortions are performed annually, which is almost as many as the 10.6million births that were recorded in 2021.
An article in the Chinese Journal of Practical Gynaecology and Obstetrics claimed that a high percentage of abortions involve young, unmarried women.
China has removed its controversial one-child policy, which was introduced in 1979, during the last decade – introducing a two-child policy in October 2015 before changing it to allow couples to have three children.
It comes after China’s birth rate fell for the fifth consecutive year, with only 10.6million babies being born last year in the population of more than 1.413billion, down 12 per cent on the 12million born in 2020.
It is the lowest level recorded in the Communist nation since its founding in 1949.
Overall, the population increased by 480,000, the lowest since the famine of 1959 to 1961 which killed tens of millions of people.
Ning Jizhe, head of the National Bureau of Statistics, told state media the decline was caused by ‘a decrease in the number of women of childbearing age, a continued decline in fertility, changes in attitudes toward childbearing and delays of marriage by young people’.
China’s birth rate fell for the fifth consecutive year, with only 10.6million babies being born last year in the population of more than 1.413billion, down 12 per cent from 2020 (stock image)
The decline in birth rates could undercut the ruling party’s plans to develop technology and self-sustaining economic growth based on consumer spending rather than exports and investment.
The fall in population growth has prompted warnings China, where economic output per person is below the global average, might face a ‘demographic time bomb’ and have too few workers to support a growing number of elderly people.
The ruling party has enforced birth limits since 1980 to restrain population growth and conserve resources.
But leaders started to worry after the working-age population peaked at 925million in 2011 and started to drop earlier than expected.
Authorities eased birth limits starting in 2015. But couples are put off by high costs, cramped housing and job discrimination against mothers.
Yi Fuxian, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told the New York Times: ‘China is facing a demographic crisis that is beyond the imagination of the Chinese authorities and the international community.’
The percentage of people aged 16 to 59, the official working age population, edged down to 882.2million, or 62.5 per cent of the total, from 63.3 per cent reported in the 2020 census. That is down from 70.1 per cent a decade ago.
Demographers say the working-age share of the population might fall to half by 2050.
There were 267million people aged 60 and above, or 18.9 per cent of the total, up from 264million, or 18.7 per cent, in 2020.
China’s birth rate already was falling before the one-child rule, paralleling trends in South Korea, Thailand and other Asian economies.
The average number of children per mother tumbled from above six in the 1960s to below three by 1980, according to the World Bank.
Demographers say official birth limits concealed a further fall in the potential number of children per family.
The one-child limit, enforced with threats of fines or loss of jobs, led to abuses including forced abortions.
A preference for sons led parents to kill baby girls, prompting warnings millions of men might be unable to find a wife, and fuelling social tension.
Source: Read Full Article