In the early 1950s, abortion was punishable by law in China. How then did China come to have one of the world’s highest abortion rates? Drawing on the grassroots history of birth control and abortion, Professor Sarah Mellors Rodriguez explains how abortion inadvertently became a primary method of fertility control in China.
Sarah Mellors Rodriguez, PhD, is Associate Professor of History at Missouri State University. Her book, Reproductive Realities in Modern China: Birth Control and Abortion, 1911-2021 (Cambridge University Press, 2023), uses interviews and archival research to analyze how ordinary women and men navigated China’s shifting fertility policies both before and during the One Child Policy era.