Abortion Pattern Changed during Family Planning Program in the Past 30 Years in China

Xiaoying Zheng, Peking University
Lihua Pang, Peking University
Chao Guo, Peking University
Haochen Wang, Peking University
Jiamin Gao, Peking University

Objectives: To identify changing levels and patterns of abortion in China among married women and the determinants of these changes. Methods: This study based on data from the 1988, 1997, 2001 and 2006 sample surveys related to women’s pregnancy history, and analyzed abortion rates by age, residence and education. Results: Overall abortion levels in China fluctuated in the period 1970–1990, but declined markedly after 1991. The profile of women resorting to abortion has shifted from older, rural, less educated women, toward younger, urban, more educated women, at a rate beyond the change in composition of the population as a whole. Young, urban, educated women are also the demographic group more likely to employ ‘‘user controlled’’, short term methods. Conclusion: The findings call for making contraception accessible, and thereby helping women avoid recourse to abortion. Future reproductive health programmes should allow women more autonomy in socio-economic factors affecting reproductive health.

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Presented in Session 90: Abortion in Transition