China launched a nationwide family planning program offering birth control methods and family planning services in the 1970s. Promotion of the widespread use of long-term contraceptive methods has been one of the program's core strategies. This paper reviews the history of China's Family Planning Program at the national level from 1970 to 2010. Special attention is paid to the history of contraception policy.
This study provides an overview of the last four decades of the Chinese Family Planning Program. Programmatic goals are highlighted during different time periods, with special attention being paid to the role of contraceptive use and the history of contraceptive policy.
The Chinese Family Planning Program has experienced several transitions. It has evolved from the 1970s period of moderate policy, represented by wan, xi, shao (late marriage and childbearing, birth spacing and limited fertility), through the strict one-child policy of 1979 to the early 1990s. From the mid-1990s to the present, a relatively lenient policy has been in force, characterized by client-centered informed choice.
The success of the Chinese Family Planning Program has long been heavily dependent on policies advocated by the central government, including programs promoting contraception to reduce fertility rates. The Program also depended on a logistical support system, including organizational safeguards and free provision of contraception and family planning services.
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Published online: December 16, 2011
Accepted: October 21, 2011
Received in revised form: October 20, 2011
Received: October 12, 2011
���Funding: 211 Program (3rd) of the Central University of Finance and Economic & the Projects of the National Social Science Foundation of China (10CRK012).
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