WASHINGTON (BP)--China released statistics Thursday showing there are at least 13 million abortions a year in the country, a sobering number that U.S. experts say likely is a low estimate and a direct result of the country's one-child policy that often includes forced abortions.
The state-run China Daily newspaper published a matter-of-fact article blaming the abortion figure on "inadequate knowledge about contraception" and a lack of sex-education in schools and homes. The story, though, said nothing about the country's one-child policy, which limits urban parents to one child while allowing some rural parents to have two children.
The country's abortion problem is compounded because Chinese culture has a strong preference for sons over daughters, a preference that has resulted in parents undergoing abortions if they learn their unborn child is female. Female babies -- if they make it to birth -- are sometimes abandoned.
The new statistic did not surprise Steven W. Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, a pro-life Christian organization in the U.S. that helps pregnant women in China go into hiding until their baby is born. Mosher and his organization frequently make trips to China and investigate stories of forced abortions.
"The number of abortions in China for the last 30 years has run between 10-15 million a year," he told Baptist Press. "And what people have to understand, though, is those are not for the most part elective abortions. They are not a result of the free choice of parents involved. It's a result of government pressure." Read More