An obstetrician conducts an ultrasound check on a pregnant woman. Checking for umbilical cord around a fetus' neck used to be part of the standard ultrasonic checks for pregnant women. Photo: CFP
Jiangxi Province has issued a new rule on having an abortion after the 14th week of pregnancy, saying the woman must have the signed consent of three medical professionals.
The province's Health and Family Planning Commission issued a notice recently saying that women who are pregnant for more than 14 weeks must have the signed approval of three medical professionals confirming that an abortion is medically necessary before any procedure, news site jxnews.com, a website affiliated with the Jiangxi government, reported on Thursday.
The report said authorities will conduct a special inquiry into the qualifications of hospitals, personnel, certifications and the use of abortion pills.
The move intends to protect a pregnant woman's health and safety, because getting an abortion after 14 weeks is dangerous, Liang Zhongtang, a former expert at the former National Population and Family Planning Commission and a research fellow at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.
However, it sparked heated online discussions, with some claiming that this move is meant to spy on their uterus.
"It's my right to give birth or abort a child, and it's not for the government to decide," one netizen said.
Liang also said that getting an approval is unnecessary, because the hospital can decide whether to conduct the abortion based on medical tests. "Getting an approval for an abortion is new and ridiculous," he noted.
On average, more than 13 million women get an abortion at a hospital annually, and does not include those who use abortion pills or illegal clinics,Southern Weekly reported in April.
Many of these are unmarried young women, said the report, adding that half of them are under 25 years old, and 7.8 percent have had at least three abortions. Newspaper headline: In a rare move, Jiangxi Province issues rule