Sex-selective abortions over the past four decades in China

Mei Li, Institute for Population and Development Studies, School of Public and Andministration, Xi’an Jiaotong University
Quanbao Jiang, Institute for Population and development Studies, Xi'an Jiaotong University

The sex-selective induced abortion of female fetuses has been quantitatively under-examined in China. In this paper, using official data for the past decades in China, we found that the annual proportions and number of selective abortions rose in the 1980s with the strict family planning policy and the diffusion of sex identification technology, remained at a high level between 1990 and 2010, and then declined, totaling 29.19 million. The abortion of second-order female fetuses was the largest proportion of all sex-selective abortions but declined after 2000 partly due to the change in birth composition by order. Children's composition affected sex-selective practice. Village selective abortions accounted for the majority of all selective abortions, but decreased markedly in 2010 with changes in birth composition by residence. The rural-urban comparison by order indicated that urban couples were not less likely to abort female fetuses than their rural counterparts.

Keywords: Family planning and contraception, Mathematical demography, Digital and computational demography, Fertility and childbirth

See paper.

  Presented in Session 76. Abortion as a Programme and Policy Priority