Chinese Data Show More Than 13M Abortions Performed Annually, TIME Reports

“New data published [last week] by China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission indicate that there are more than 13 million abortions conducted in the country every year,” TIME reports. The data “only account for surgical procedures conducted at licensed hospitals and clinics, and don’t take into account medically induced abortions or procedures conducted at the unlicensed clinics seen in poorer parts of the country,” the magazine writes. “[W]hile China’s restrictive one-child policy is certainly one factor influencing the high rate of terminations … [r]ecent surveys have shown a surprising lack of awareness about basic sexual health among China’s youth,” the magazine reports, noting, “Just 1.2 percent of Chinese women take oral contraceptives, compared with 30 percent to 50 percent of women in some developed countries.” TIME adds, “Almost half of the reported [abortion] procedures were conducted on women below the age of 25, the majority of whom were university students” (Jiang, 9/30).