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13 million abortions a year in China: Report

The real number of abortions is much higher than the 13 million abortions reported because the figures are collected only from registered medical institutions.

There are over 13 million abortions performed every year in China,mostly for single young women who have “inadequate knowledge about contraception”,a news report said on Thursday.

The real number of abortions is much higher than the 13 million abortions reported because the figures are collected only from registered medical institutions,said Wu Shangchun,a division director of the National Population and Family Planning Commission’s technology research center.

Many abortions,Wu said,are performed in unregistered clinics.

“The challenge of reducing (the number) of women seeking abortions in China is tough,” Wu was quoted as saying by the ‘China Daily’ on Thursday.

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The report said around 62 per cent of the women undergoing abortions were single and aged between 20 and 29 years old.

Abortions cost about 600 yuan or USD 88 in China.

Since the 1990s,doctors have refrained from seeking a woman’s marital status before performing an abortion.

Li Ying,a professor at Peking University,underlined the need for widespread sex education among the youths as inadequate knowledge about contraception was a major factor in the 13 million abortions performed in China every year.

About 10 million abortion-inducing pills,used in hospitals for early-stage abortions,are sold every year in the country,she said.

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A survey done by 411 Hospital of People’s Liberation Army in Shanghai found that less than 30 per cent of callers to a hotline knew how to avoid pregnancy,and only 17 per cent were aware of venereal diseases,the report said.

More than 70 per cent said they did not know sexual transmission is the major contributor to the spread of HIV/AIDS.

The Communist nation,the most populous with 1.3 billion people,imposed strict birth controls in the 1970s,limiting most couples to just one child.

First published on: 30-07-2009 at 11:45 IST
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