Induced Abortion in China: Levels, Trends and Its Role in Fertility Decline

Wei Chen, Australian National University

Using published and unpublished statistics in China this paper addresses some of the basic issues surrounding abortion in China: abortion levels and trends, its association with the development of the family planning program, and its role in China's fertility decline. The birth control policy in the framework of the economic reform resulted in substantial increases in abortion in China, in addition to other family planning methods. The early 1980s and early 1990s witnessed the peak abortion levels associated with the abortion campaigns occurred at that time. With the attainment of low fertility and transition in China's family planning work, abortion level has fallen since the mid 1990s. However, the abortion contribution to fertility decline in China is only moderate both compared to the other two major components (marriage and contraception) and compared to that in many countries, unlike what many have envisioned.

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Presented in Session 146: Reproductive Health in Developing Countries II