Equality, Development and Sharing: Progress of Women's Cause in 70 Years Since New China's Founding
Maternal and child health services have become more equitable and accessible. New China attaches great importance to the safety of mothers and infants, actively popularizing new methods of delivering babies, and preventing and controlling serious diseases that endanger women's physical and mental health. Over the past four decades since the launch of reform and opening up, China has actively promoted pre-marital medical examination, provided comprehensive pregnancy health care services and popularized hospital childbirths. China has also improved postpartum health care services, strengthened the systematic management of pregnant and bed-ridden women, and gradually established systematic and standardized management systems and service models for pregnant and bed-ridden women, effectively protecting their health. Since 2000, major public health services for women and children have been implemented to reduce maternal mortality and eliminate neonatal tetanus. The State has subsidized hospital childbirths for rural pregnant women and carried out major projects on preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS, syphilis and hepatitis B. China has also launched the program of free cervical and breast cancer screening for rural women, providing free pre-pregnancy health check-ups. Since 2009, China has implemented the national program for basic public health services, increasing the per capita subsidy from 15 yuan in 2009 to 55 yuan in 2018, and providing 14 types of free basic public health services, including maternal health management. In 2018, the national hospital birth rate increased to 99.9%. By the end of 2018, the program of free cervical and breast cancer screening for rural women has provided free cervical cancer screening for more than 85 million women and free breast cancer screening for 20 million women. The system of women's federations alone has helped 102,200 women having financial difficulties.
Reproductive health services for women have been further strengthened. China has enacted relevant laws, policies, and plans to improve women's reproductive health. In the 1990s, China launched people-oriented services for family planning, promoted informed choice of contraceptive methods and protected women's rights and interests of reproductive health. Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, China has adjusted and improved its family planning policy and strengthened the quality of family planning services. In 2016, the 13th Five-Year Plan on Health Development was released to implement basic programs of free technical services for family planning, popularize the knowledge of contraception, healthy childbirth and child rearing, and reproductive health, improve the accessibility and convenience of pharmaceutical services, enhance reproductive technical guidance services, and lift the level of reproductive health. In 2018, China issued the Maternal and Child Safety Action Plan and the Codes of Contraceptive Services after Induced Abortion to implement five major actions consisting of lowering pregnancy risk, treating severe diseases, improving quality and safety, empowering specialist capacity, and providing convenient and high-quality services for women. The country offers free pre-pregnancy health services including health education and health examination to rural couples who plan for pregnancy. China has launched pilot programs to ensure equal access to family planning and other basic public services by women in the migrant population, and has provided maternal health services for women in the migrant population.