Recently, several US states have passed regressive restrictions on women’s control of their bodies. Over the pond, Chinese netizens are protesting what they see as a similarly regressive call by the National Health Commission for fewer Caesarean section (C-section) procedures.
At a press conference in Beijing, director Qin Geng announced that the Commission would strive to control C-sections deemed “unnecessary,” in order to encourage more women to give birth naturally.
This sparked an outcry online, particularly among women, and caused the hashtag, “Reduce C-section surgery” (#减少非性剖产产手术#) to start trending on Weibo.
On a Weibo post by China News Weekly, one upvoted comment reads: “Let’s keep researching ways for men to give birth, then.”
Writes another netizen: “Why is it that women’s reproductive freedom is decided by a group of men? How ridiculous!” Another directly refers to Alabama’s abortion ban, saying: “These lightweight men remind me of American abortion lawmakers!”
A male user chimes in: “I don’t listen to this nonsense. I just listen to what my wife wants, it’s up to her.”
Others pointed out the clear health risks, pain and scarring borne by women who opt for C-section surgery, as well as many women’s lack of anaesthesia and other means to ensure painless childbirth.
Wǒ Men Podcast: “Sitting the Month” – Postpartum Confinement in China
China has a higher rate of C-sections than the global average, at about 35% percent of births, but still follows a worldwide trend of increasing C-sections. Women in China have also had legal access to services such as abortion and contraception since before the enactment of China’s one-child policy, which make restrictions on reproductive health a hot topic of discussion for many.
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