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China's population policies and abortions

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
I think i'm right to place this in here as i'm looking more for opinions and discussion than health advice.

Following on from Shyboy's thread about the Nanjing massacre, whilst doing some research for an essay about Abortions and contraception with regards to China's One Child Policy, I came across the fact that many Chinese women often have had multiple abortions, some up to 6. Some of these are coerced abortions but in general the women accept the population policies as law.

Below is a link to a table (near the bottom of the page) summarising a selection of studies carried out in China over the years:

http://www.lifeissues.net/writers/air/air_vol14no1_20001.html

Not really sure what I'm after at posting this. Are there likely to be any ill effects from a woman receiving so many abortions?

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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If it's carried out in a safe, sanitary environment then there's no evidence (well, no credible evidence) to suggest that multiple abortions cause any physiological harm. Some of the clients at MSI/BPAS have had 5 abortions upwards, so something's obviously working ok. The psychology of it however, varies, especially in the context of China. A friend of mine was a single child in China, however her mother was forced to have numerous abortions.

    I'd be careful about using Lifeissues as a credible source however. One of the comments has described the use of emergency contraception being available OTC as a 'holocaust'
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yeh i'm planning on looking at my sources (and their agendas) once i've read through all the information that i have.

    The statistics are all so varied across the board though, that it's difficult to see what's true and what's not, when the facts themselves are so sparsely reported. That article is saying similar things to others from different sources tho.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    To a certain extent Go Away, you have to ask whether these are abortions through choice. If not then the physiological harm isn't going to be the same...
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    From reports, most of these are occuring through failure of contraception- lack of education maybe?- and the need to comply with the One Child Policy (due to repercussions if not adhered to) So it's not really a "choice", there are pressures placed on the woman/couples to adhere, although I believe most are voluntary abortions rather than coersion.

    What i don't understand is why some women are(were? i think the situation is slightly different now) having up to 6 abortions in a year and seemingly not fixing the contraception problem. I can't think that an abortion is more pleasant than getting contraception right.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    To a certain extent Go Away, you have to ask whether these are abortions through choice. If not then the physiological harm isn't going to be the same...

    Well, I guess I had put that under the guise of not being safe, legal etc,
    What i don't understand is why some women are(were? i think the situation is slightly different now) having up to 6 abortions in a year and seemingly not fixing the contraception problem. I can't think that an abortion is more pleasant than getting contraception right.

    Depends on where you go. If you read Life Exposed, which looks into the aftermath of Chernobyl, one of the women interviewed admitted she had had 19 abortions, as there was no contraception available, and that abortion was their form of birth control. Sometimes there's no contraception problem to 'fix' as there's no contraception available in the first place :(
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I can perfectly understand it in the case of no contraception available. I'm thinking that in China it wasn't a lack of availability (as from the 1950s many types of contraception have been readily available, and later on certain methods free (I think!)) but i think more a lack of education, and perhaps the transition period for this new policy.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm really not hugely clued up on China's own contraception policy. Do you know if it was a lack of uptake, or people using things incorrectly? I'd imagine if anything new was bought in by the government, it might be viewed with an air of suspicion or something.

    Since coming out of medicine for a year to do anthropology, I've had it drilled into me not to regard things as being due to a lack of education or rooted in ignorance :D
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    haha how about i post the essay when i've finished it... there's so much stuff!

    Well from the 1950s abortion was legalised in certain circumstances and then in the 70s there were further changes, allowing abortion in almost all circumstances and promoting the use of contraception, all in line with reducing the population growth. According to a table i've just found, in 1979-1982 the reason given for 50% of abortions was non-use of contraception,the other 50% failure of various methods including IUDs, pills, condoms and sterilisation. http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0097-7004%28198710%2913%3A4%3C441%3AAICIAI%3E2.0.CO%3B2-S although you need an athens log in to gain access to that paper.

    However the studies carried out in the above article were later, late 80s early 90s, after the policy and ideas had been around for 20 years. By that point they had had rigourous family planning clinics etc in place for a good number of years. Those clinics were big on promoting contraception...so lack of education doesn't make sense.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Given that with one child many Chinese parents want a boy, there are also a lot of arbortions of first children based on its gender (and infanticide of young girls isn't unknown).
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/3601281.stm

    is a BBC article on the problems of surplus males.
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