Abortions Rise in China as Sex Ed Lacks

Joe Veix

The New York Times examines the rise in abortions in China, of which Chinese officials blame the low-level of sex education.

A recent article in the New York Times delves into the stark rise in abortions in China. Abortions number about 13 million per year, which equates to about "24 abortions for every 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44." The numbers are even higher when including in the statistics medication-induced abortions.

Fortunately, Chinese officials recognize that the main reason for the increase is because of poor sex education, which has resulted in widespread, dangerous sexual practices. According to the article, "Half the women who had abortions had not used any form of contraception," and:

"More than 70 percent of callers to a pregnancy phone line at a Shanghai hospital knew almost nothing about contraception, China Daily reported. Only 17 percent were aware of venereal diseases, and less than 30 percent knew that HIV/AIDS could be transmitted sexually."

Although the official response is a refreshingly pragmatic interpretation of the statistics, the Chinese response is only that; there isn’t anything mentioned about specific policy changes, or possible ways to better educate Chinese youth. Still, it would be nice if officials in our country – especially in the anti-abortion and anti-sex ed camps – realized the importance of sex education.

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