China to Actively Ban Teen Abortions as Birth Rate Collapses

China to Actively Ban Teen Abortions as Birth Rate Collapses

The Chinese Communist Party recently issued an edict directing family planning associations across China to “intervene in abortions among unmarried people and adolescents,” the state outlet Global Timesreported on Friday.

The China Family Planning Association (CFPA) announced the new directive in a notice posted by its website on January 29.

“Article 9 of the [CFPA] report mentions that special efforts will be made to address the reproductive health concerns of specific groups, and that there will be special campaigns to intervene in abortions among unmarried people and adolescents so as to tackle unwanted pregnancies and improve reproductive health,” the Global Times, a Chinese state-run newspaper, relayed on February 11.

The CFPA plans to launch a social media-based propaganda campaign to “strengthen guidance of young people’s views on marriage, love, and family, and reshape parenting culture to embrace multi-child families,” Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported on February 10.

“The new marriage and childbirth culture must be incorporated into village regulations, and content that is inconsistent with this must be revised,” the directive read.

The Communist Party edict comes after China’s demographic figures showed a sharp decline in the number of new marriage registrations among Chinese couples in recent years. The figure dropped from a “record high” of 13.47 million in 2013 to 8.143 million in 2020, Beijing’s Tsinghua University reported in February 2021.

“Data from 2005 to 2019 showed the proportion of [Chinese] marriage registrations by couples aged 20 to 24 decreased from 47.0 percent to 19.7 percent,” the Global Times noted at the time.

China’s fertility rate — defined by the Encyclopedia Britannica as “the average number of children born to women during their reproductive years” — has plummeted in recent years as well. China recorded a fertility rate of 1.3 per woman in 2020.

“For the population in a given area to remain stable, an overall total fertility rate of 2.1 is needed, assuming no immigration or emigration occurs,” according to the Encyclopedia Britannica.

Fertility rates are directly tied to population size. China is currently scrambling, likely in vain, to reverse its shrinking population after decades of discouraging new births to reduce its once exploding populace. The Chinese Communist Party enforced a notorious “one-child policy” from about 1980 through 2015 and encouraged Chinese women to undergo abortions over the 35-year-long period to help support this goal. After witnessing the severe warping effects of its one-child policy on the Chinese population, Beijing expanded the limit to two children per family in 2016 and further increased the figure to three children in 2021.

“China’s natural population growth rate was only 0.034 percent for 2021, the lowest since 1960,” China Dailyreported on January 19 citing official Chinese government data released on January 17.

Gabrielle Reyes