China’s family planning network is enormous and efficient, a virtual population control army that promotes contraception and meticulously logs births, abortions and sterilizations — but it focuses mainly on married couples.
Young people like Yin are falling through the cracks. A U.N.-funded survey of 22,288 Chinese aged 15-24 by the Peking University Population Research Institute in 2009 found that two-thirds were accepting of premarital sex but that most “had very limited levels of sexual reproductive health knowledge.”
The survey found 22 percent had had sex before; of those, more than 50 percent used no contraception during their first sexual encounter. A 2009 survey of American high schoolers by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control found 46 percent of students had had sex and 85 percent used contraceptives during their most recent sexual activity.
Later, Yin leaves with a bag of pills and an abortion appointment three days later. Zhou, the manager, explains that the pills will kill the fetus and soften Yin’s cervix.