Teen abortion rates jump in Hangzhou

By Xu Xiaomin (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-02-16 07:16

HANGZHOU: Abortion rates among teens in the Zhejiang Province capital have risen this month as young students rush to a free local clinic to terminate their pregnancies while on vacation from schools and colleges.

Busy doctors from the Hangzhou Youth Reproduction Health Service Center said they were struggling to keep up with the demand.

"Before, we only had two or three abortion operations a day," Zheng Weili, director of the center which provides free consultations and abortions for students, said.

"But since the winter vacation started last week, we should be doing about 10 abortions every day, and most of them are 16 to 21 year old students."

Zheng, who is in charge of a hotline about reproduction health, said callers found out about the free service, mainly from their classmates or through websites.

"I think most pregnant students don't want their schools and classmates to know," Zheng said.

"So they think the vacation is a good time for an operation and recovery. That way, no one at the school would notice it."

Most of the pregnant students, are 18 to 20 years old, but some are even younger.

The Hangzhou Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine last week treated a 15-year-old, accompanied by her mother, according to a report in the Hangzhou-based Today Morning Express. The girl told the doctor that she was suffering from an irregular period. But after examination, the doctor Fu Ping found that she was two month's pregnant.

Doctors have warned that too many abortions make the uterine wall thinner or even perforate, and could lead to sterility.

(China Daily 02/16/2007 page4)

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