Representative image Photograph:( AFP )
The guidelines didn’t elaborate on what constitutes a non-medical abortion
China on Monday unveiled a new set of guidelines aiming to improve sex education and strengthen post-abortion and post-childbirth family planning services, while announcing that it intends to reduce the number of abortions performed for “non-medical purposes”.
The state council released comprehensive guidelines on women’s development from 2021 to 2030, with wide-ranging targets from reducing abortions to increasing women’s access to nutrition, education, employment and higher-ranking posts in the government.
The guidelines didn’t elaborate on what constitutes a non-medical abortion.
The state council said action would also be taken to avoid unwanted pregnancies and to encourage men to “share responsibility” in preventing them.
“The basic national policy of gender equality and the principle of giving priority to children need to be implemented in depth,” news agency Reuters quoted Huang Xiaowei, deputy director of the State Council’s National Working Committee on Women and Children, as saying.
With China’s population set to decline in the coming years, the government has taken several steps recently to try to delay that from happening.
China has already enacted strict measures aimed at preventing sex-selective abortions, which have been criticised for contributing to gender inequality.
In June, Beijing said it would allow all couples to have three children instead of two, while policies designed to reduce the financial burden of raising children are also being introduced.
Although China remains the world’s most populous nation, the latest census showed population growth from 2011 to 2020 was the slowest since the 1950s. The population is expected to start to decline within a few years.
(With inputs from agencies)