Does China Really Want to Reduce Abortions?
IMAGE: An advertisement for half-priced abortions in China. (All Girls Allowed)

 

According to a recent article by the government-run All-China Women's Federation, about 62% of all women seeking abortions in China are in their 20's, and most are single.  Of all the women that seek abortions, more than half have had one before.  The abortion rate continues to climb, particularly among young teenage women.  According to the department head of one hospital in Tianjin, the number of girls under 16 who are undergoing abortions has been growing by 30% each year.

 

Misleading abortion advertisements abound all across China, with phrases such as "painless abortions" or "two-minute abortions".  One advertisement depicts a dialogue between a woman and the doctor.  "Has it begun?" says the woman.  "It's already finished", replies the doctor.  Even those advertisements that lack this verbiage use pictures of beautiful, stylish, and happy women to convey the idea that abortion is an easy solution to unplanned or over-quota pregnancies.

 

Young teenagers are easy prey to these ads in a nation where women must be at least 20 years old in order to have children.  Unmarried women are not legally allowed to give birth, as they must first have a marriage certificate in order to obatin a birth permit.  But the minimum marriage age in China is 20 years of age.  Thus, all pregnant teenagers are in a bind, unable to obtain the very permits that would legalize the birth of their child.

 

At least on paper, it appears the Chinese government wants to limit the rate of abortion.  Many of the false advertisements mentioned above are technically illegal.  State media outlets have begun reporting about the need for more education about contraception and abortion.  

 

Yet, while government agencies can be lauded for coming down against China's rising abortion rate, the One-Child Policy is chillingly absent from the conversation.  It seems contradictory to discuss abortion in China without considering the coercive family planning laws that make it difficult--or even impossible--for a mother to have her child in the first case.  As the "Sewer Baby" incident this summer demonstrated, fear of the One-Child Policy can even lead mothers to secretly give birth in the worst of conditions.

 

There is one consistent voice in all of this, the voice of Jesus.  When his disciples were rebuking others for bringing their children to Jesus, he responded, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (Matthew 19:14)  The message of the Bible has consistently been one that affirms and uplifts the value of all human life.

 

Pregnancies of any sort, unplanned or planned, are difficult enough without adding the unnecessary and undue burden of state-imposed family planning.  As you read this, churches around China are rising up to help those who, without substantial help and prayer, would have no choice but to submit to an abortion.  

 

Join All Girls Allowed as we pray for his people to take a stand against forced and coerced abortion with the same conviction as the Hebrew midwives in the days of Moses, and with the same welcoming arms as Jesus!

 

by Brian Lee, All Girls Allowed




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