by Eric Boodman
Sept. 29, 2022
It started as a joke. Jen was early in her first pregnancy, sitting with her husband after lunch. You know those gimmicky websites, he was saying, where you can name a star after someone and the person gets a certificate in the mail? What if, instead, we named our child after the biggest planet in the solar system?
He was kidding, but Jen kind of liked it. Jupiter. She liked the sound of it — and how awesome, to share a name with something so huge, encircled by so many moons. She hadn’t imagined herself as a mom. When they were looking at houses, she’d insisted on a yard for their dog; she hadn’t been thinking about room for kids. But then something in her shifted, and here they were, in their dining room, in a green-lawned Tennessee neighborhood, joking about what to call their first child. Jupiter was a perfect middle name — semi-secret, a nod to this wild gravitational pull.
Measures include improved maternal healthcare and efforts to reduce abortions as China seeks to reverse declining population growth
Helen Davidson in Taipei, and agencies
Wed 17 Aug 2022
The Chinese government has pledged to improve pre- and post-natal services to encourage more people to have children and reiterated its intent to “discourage” abortions as it seeks to turn around a declining birth rate.
The measures announced by the country’s national health commission include a pledge to make fertility treatments more accessible. For several years authorities have flagged expanding IVF access to single women but it remains available only to married couples. A court challenge by a woman was recently struck down.
19 Jun, 2022
The US Supreme Court is expected to overturn the country’s landmark 1973 Roe v Wade ruling, which guaranteed women’s right to abortion nationwide despite widespread protests, according to a draft of a majority opinion that was leaked last month.
In China – which has one of the world’s highest recorded abortion rates – women’s reproductive rights have also historically been a contentious issue, but are seen through a very different cultural lens.
The overturning of Roe v. Wade could be a watershed for U.S. women's rights. Is the same true in Asia?
ISMI DAMAYANTI, KIRAN SHARMA and ARISA KAMEI, Nikkei staff writers
JUNE 15, 2022
"Keeping it was never an option," says Rara, a woman in her 20s from Jakarta, Indonesia.
It was 2017 and Rara (not her real name) was studying communication at a private university in the capital. After falling pregnant by her unmarried partner, who had another girlfriend at the time, she felt she could not disappoint her devout Muslim parents.
20 APR 2022
Recent official pronouncements in China have sparked speculation that tighter restrictions on abortion may be in the offing. Six months ago, the Chinese State Council issued guidelines to lower the number of abortions performed for non-medical reasons. And in February, China's family-planning association announced that the authorities would launch a special abortion intervention campaign to reduce unwanted pregnancies and abortions among teenagers.
But these official interventions, under the guise of "enhancing women's reproductive health", are in fact a response to China's growing fertility crisis. The one-child policy, which was implemented nationwide in 1980, forced down China's fertility rate for two generations, and the introduction of the two-child policy in 2016 has failed to boost it. Even according to the inflated official figures, China's fertility rate was only 1.3 children per woman in 2020 and 1.1-1.2 children per woman last year, well below the rates of 1.8, 1.7, and 1.5 predicted by the Chinese authorities, the United Nations, and the US Census Bureau, respectively.
Analysis by Jessie Yeung and Nectar Gan, CNN
Fri October 1, 2021
Hong Kong (CNN) For decades, Chinese authorities imposed strict limits on families that forced millions of women to abort pregnancies deemed illegal by the state.
That harsh practice has become less common since China relaxed its one-child policy in 2015. So when news emerged this week that the government wants to reduce abortions for "non-medical reasons," the backlash was swift and furious.
Analysis: plan to reduce abortions as birthrates plunge draws comparisons to The Handmaid’s Tale
Helen Davidson in Taipei
Wed 29 Sep 2021
Far-reaching proposals from Beijing on “women’s development” have sparked concern over a pledge to reduce abortions, with feminists and academics pointing to the government’s history of control over women’s reproductive rights.
On Monday China’s state council published its latest 10-year outline for women’s development. The lengthy document contained guidelines for China’s gender-based policy, but it was a short phrase that caught particular attention: a pledge to “reduce abortions conducted for non-medical reasons”.
Move comes as China introduces new policies aimed at encouraging families to have more children amid concerns over a decline in birthrates.
27 Sep 2021
China has issued new guidelines restricting the number of abortions performed for “non-medical purposes”.
The State Council, China’s cabinet, published the new rules on Monday.
By Jane Li & Tripti Lahiri
Published September 27, 2021
For decades, abortion was freely available to women in China. In fact, as a tool of the one-child policy, it was traumatically forced on women to make them conform to the state’s need to reduce the population.
But now that China is far more worried about its shrinking population, it seems to be reversing course and moving towards more carefully controlling how woman access abortion. In other words, abortion will continue to be a tool of state policy in China—it’s just that the policy has changed.
Policy uses women as tool for economic goals and could endanger their lives, says rights group
Mon 27 Sep 2021
China’s pledge to limit abortions puts women’s bodies under the state’s control just as the one-child policy did and could endanger the lives of women seeking abortions, rights groups have said.
The Chinese government announced on Monday that it would seek to reduce abortions for “non-medical reasons” – a move seen as being in line with its attempts to accelerate birthrates.