Chinese Netizens Cry “Hands Off Women’s Bodies” After Call for Fewer C-Sections

Recent abortion bans in the US have made reproductive health restrictions a hot topic in China

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8:19 PM HKT, Wed May 29, 2019 1 mins read

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.

Image: Weibo

On a Weibo post by China News Weekly, one upvoted comment reads: “Let’s keep researching ways for men to give birth, then.”

Images: Weibo

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!”

Image: Weibo

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.


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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