Pregnancy and Access to Abortion of Unmarried Women Aged 15-24 in China

Xiaoying Zheng, Peking University
Rong rong Yang, Peking University
Ting Lin, Peking University
Hua Chen, Peking University
He Chen, Peking University
Lingfang Tan, Peking University
Yukun Hu, Peking University
Gong Chen, Peking University

Using data from surveys of youth access to reproductive health, and interviews with gynecology and obstetrics health workers, this study investigates pregnancy and abortion among unmarried women aged 15-24 in China, and explores factors of access to abortion. Last year, 1.76 to 2.23 million unmarried women had abortions. Of these 590-820 thousand did not abort in hospitals in order to avoid detection or perceived high hospital costs. Needs exist among unmarried youth for mechanisms to prevent premarital pregnancy. Assuming that private clinics and hospitals would cost less and ensure better privacy, some would not visit public hospitals to abort till the termination was not successful. The findings indicate the need for pre-primary prophylaxis of premarital pregnancy, and to enhance the leading role of the health sector, especially public hospitals, in providing youth-friendly service.

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Presented in Session 93: Abortion I