Termination of Pregnancy and Abortion in China

Information on who to contact and how to proceed in the event of an unwanted pregnancy. Also information on family planning clinics and emergency contraception in China...

The drive to control rapid population growth in China has meant that abortions are legal and easily accessible. Abortions are available on request and the Chinese criminal code contains no circumstances under which an abortion carried out at a women's request is an offence.

Women are offered paid sick leave following an abortion; 14 days following a termination in the first trimester and 30 days if the procedure occurs later in the pregnancy. Abortions are allowed until the sixth month of pregnancy though the majority are performed much earlier.

Abortions can take place either in a hospital or a family planning service station.

Procedure

A woman wishing to have an abortion should visit a hospital. It is advisable to choose a major hospital or one that specialises in women's and children's health; if possible use a hospital that has been recommended.

Women seeking a termination are not required to attend counselling sessions and there is no requirement for parental notification or consent for underage girls to get an abortion.

Once at the hospital the women's health should be thoroughly assessed and the method of termination discussed. The method recommended depends on the stage of pregnancy; both medical (the abortion pill) and surgical abortions are allowed in China. The abortion pill is commonly offered to women in the early stages of pregnancy (up to eight weeks), and is administered under the care of a doctor.

Family Planning

The National Population and Family Planning Commission of China (NPFPC) is the government body responsible for overseeing population control, reproductive health and family planning in China. It offers free contraception to everyone across China's provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities.

State run family planning centres can be found in all towns, cities and small rural communities.

The China Family Planning Association (CFPA) is the largest non-government family planning organisation operating in the country.

All modern forms of contraception are readily available in China. Most, including the contraceptive pill, can be bought over the counter in pharmacies.

Further Information