Thirteen Million Chinese Women Have Abortions Each Year

April 13, 2007 Updated: April 13, 2007

CHINA—According to a Mingpao News report, an average of 13 million mainland Chinese women have abortions each year. One woman has had as many as 15 abortions, which have negatively affected her health.

The Beijing Youth Daily reports that the average abortion rate for women, ages 13 through 48, is 29.3 percent. The majority of these women are between 20 and 29 years of age. This report also states that abortion rates are higher in cities.

Research indicates that many abortions in China are repeat or high-risk abortions. The highest number of abortions for one woman was 15. A survey conducted in Beijing hospitals shows that the rate of high-risk abortions is 41.54 percent, of which 35.97 percent are repeat abortions within half a year of a previous one. Over 17 percent of the women surveyed have had more than three abortions.

Abortions, especially repeat abortions, can have a negative impact on a woman's physical and mental health, including making her infertile.

Research shows that 84 percent of women experience depression after an abortion, with unmarried women suffering more than married women. In addition, 10.12 percent of abortions cause infection, bleeding, and irregular menstruation.

Other, more severe side effects include womb perforation, damage to internal organs, repeat miscarriages, and ectopic pregnancies. More than 1 percent of women become infertile after an abortion.

Experts believe that the main factors leading to abortions are: lack of birth control, failure of birth control, and individual medical conditions. The majority of women choose to abort for the first two reasons. Among unmarried women, 78.6 percent of abortions are due to a lack of birth control. Experts also say that the risk of pregnancy is very high after an abortion.