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China Expands Availability of Contraceptives, Education on Family Planning

Recently, the China Daily reported on the success of rural family planning programs that send doctors on rounds in various counties and provinces to examine the health of women. These programs provide education on contraception, and aim to arm women with the knowledge needed to make critical decisions about their own bodies. Datong county reported a significant decrease in its birth rate, and a dramatic increase in understanding of multiple birth control methods. Yunnan Province’s program has changed rural residents’ attitudes toward family planning, stressing that high birth rates contribute to the cycle of poverty. Changing attitudes towards birth control can be seen in an increase in condom vending machines in urban, college-age communities. According to the China Daily, support for the free vending machines was weak at first, but Beijing residents, informed of the benefits of easily available contraception among youth, now back the drive. LEARN MORE Click here to read women’s narratives about barriers or successes in accessing reproductive health and family planning services.

Sources:

Kaiser Dailey Health Report - October 8, 1999 and China Daily - October 5, 1999