336 million abortions carried out in China
MORE than half a billion birth control procedures, including at least 336 million abortions, have been performed in the name of the one-child policy, China's health ministry revealed.
There are more than 13 million abortions a year, or 1,500 an hour, in China, according to government researchers, who blame the high figure on a lack of sex education.
The figures illustrate the enormous impact that the one-child policy has had on China in the four decades since it began.
Official statistics showed that in addition to the terminations, Chinese doctors have sterilised 196 million men and women since 1971.
Perhaps unexpectedly, most people in China support the one-child policy, believing that the country would have suffered an impossible drain on food and resources without it, according to a 2008 survey.
Fewer than 10pc of sexually active couples regularly use condoms, according to the state-run Science and Technology Research Institute.
Population expert Wang Feng said the government had begun the process of bringing the policy to an end.