CNN reported on the abysmal state of sex education in China, which has led to an increase in unintended teen pregnancies, as well as the spread of HIV. According to the report, abortion is used as one of the main methods for birth control for some young women in China.
Last year, there were an estimated 115,000 new HIV cases diagnosed in China, with 15 percent of people infected between the ages of 15 and 24. According to CNN, the growth rate of new HIV infections among this demographic is about 35 percent.
Similarly, the rate of young women having abortions is growing as well. Approximately 13 million abortions are performed in China each year, according to official research. This number doesn’t include non-surgical abortions or abortions done at unregistered clinics. At one hospital in China, the rate of abortions for women younger than 16 years old is growing by 30 percent every year.
More often than not, women are unsure what exactly the procedure will entail, some sex educators say. Accordingly, the lack of official sex education has prompted the rise of health awareness apps, such as “Yummy” and “Buzz and Bloom,” which provide free advice to users.
“Many women have abortions because they lack basic sex education, especially contraceptive education,” Zhao Jing, founder of Yummy, said. “They think having an abortion is like taking a nap, which is how it is described in adverts.”
Another education entrepreneur, Stephany Zoo, co-founder of “Buzz and Bloom,” reportedly said, “So many of the girls were going in for abortions without having any idea what was going to happen.”
As Teen Vogue noted, there is no problem with the abortions themselves. It’s widely known that having single or even multiple abortions in a sterile environment is harmless to a woman’s reproductive system and future pre-natal conditions.
But the main problem with China’s epidemic of young women having abortions lies in the fact that there is such little awareness surrounding the medical procedure. Unfortunately, social stigmas surrounding sex and methods of protection prevent discussions which could teach women about birth control and sexually-transmitted diseases, such as HIV.
Banner photo: Pixabay, silentpilot