Friday, July 31, 2009

Shocking new statistics: 13 million abortions annually in China

I have blogged previously on China’s one child policy and the problems arising from that draconian legislation, however I was astounded by statistics released on Thursday by Chinese health officials who say that more than 13 million babies are now aborted annually in China. Clearly however even this is far from being the total annual loss of life due to the one child policy, Chinese officials have admitted that this accounts only for surgical abortions carried out in hospitals, not those in unregistered rural abortion facilities. In addition, 10 million abortifacients are sold every year in China which became the first country in the world to approve the deadly RU 486 abortion pill in 1988 to assist with its One Child "family planning" programs. These figures show a marked increase from the last available statistics in 2003. ((New York Times article)

Despite the government's ongoing coercive one child policy, which continues to employ fines, heavy pressure and intimidation to convince people to abort, local experts have blamed lack of knowledge among young people of sex and contraceptives for the figures. Li Ying, a professor at Peking University cited a survey that showed fewer than 30 percent of young people who called a hospital hotline knew "how to avoid" pregnancy. "Sex education needs to be strengthened, with universities and our society giving more guidance," she said. (LifeSiteNews.Com)

The Chinese cultural preference for sons, combined with the state’s longstanding one-child policy, has resulted in the wide usage of sex selective abortions, the end result of which is that there are now 32 million more Chinese boys than girls under 20 and this imbalance that is expected to widen over the next 20 years.

Recently, the financial centre of Shanghai, the country's largest city with a population of just under 19 million, is reportedly independently relaxing the one child rule. Officials announced last week that couples should consider having a second child to offset the aging of the overall population.
"We advocate eligible couples to have two kids, because it can help to reduce the proportion of the aging people and alleviate a workforce shortage in the future," according to Xie Linli, director of the Shanghai Population and Family Planning Commission.

Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute and a renowned China expert, says that Shanghai's purported “relaxation” of the one-child policy is hardly that, and represents little for most of the citizens of China.

“Shanghai has long had very low birthrates,” says Mosher, who goes on to explain that 15 years ago, the head of Shanghai's one-child policy was actually having trouble getting people under her jurisdiction to accept a quota for one child, much less for two. “This official couldn't fill her quotas for births," he says. “People didn't want more than one child. Some of the time, they didn't even want one.”

“This explains Shanghai's recent move to a `two-child policy',” says Mosher. “By letting the minority who still want two children to act on their preferences, this will help offset the birth dearth caused by the majority who want only one—or none. The result will still be a de facto one-child policy.” As for the rest of the country of China, Mosher says, “our investigations show that the one-child policy is still being pursued with a vengeance, a vengeance that includes forced abortions.”