2021-09-27 14:38:22 China’s Abortion Vow Sparks Worries About Limits

China’s Abortion Vow Sparks Worries About Limits

On social media on Monday, some users wondered if more restrictions were on the way after some state-backed news outlets highlighted the line about abortion in the guidelines. “Contraception can fail, so not finding a partner is the safest bet,” one popular Weibo commentator said.

According to Lu Pin, a Chinese feminist activist, many women are deeply skeptical of the government’s efforts to boost the country’s anemic birthrates. The government imposed a cooling-off period for couples seeking divorce earlier this year, which some saw as a way to force women to stay in marriages and have children.

“Chinese women are always forced and used by the state,” Ms. Lu said in a June interview, noting that some women were concerned about potential limits on contraception, which is currently widely available.

Those concerns do not appear to have materialized as of yet. In fact, Monday’s report promised to improve women’s access to contraception as well as sex education.

Ms. Feng, the organization’s founder in Beijing, emphasized that the only mention of reducing abortions was in a lengthy report with over 50,000 Chinese characters. She cited other parts of the report that she found encouraging, such as pledges to combat gender discrimination in the workplace, improve educational opportunities for women, and encourage men and women to share housework.

Nonetheless, she acknowledged the chasm between official rhetoric and reality. State media outlets have recently criticized the perceived “feminization” of Chinese men, and feminist activists have been censored on social media platforms. Despite the fact that the report affirms the government’s stance against sexual harassment, a judge this month ruled against the plaintiff in the most high-profile harassment case to emerge from China’s Me Too movement.

Ms. Feng stated, “Women’s development involves many responsible departments.” “How those responsible departments implement their specific measures, on the other hand, necessitates more attention and promotion.”

Joy Dong contributed to the research.

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China's Abortion Vow Sparks Worries About Limits