Abortions usually peak at the end of long school holidays, according to newspaper reports in South China's Guangdong Province.
The past month - after the end of the school summer vacation - has seen more students having abortions, according to the Guangzhou-based Yangcheng Evening News.
A similar increase was reported a few months ago after the week-long May Day holidays when at least 1,000 students, most under age 20, visited hospitals in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province, for abortions, according to the Xinkuai Bao newspaper.
And, the weeks after the Spring Festival - the Chinese Lunar New Year - and the week-long October 1 National Day holidays have also become peak seasons for student abortions, according to Doctor Yang Jin of the Gynecology and Obstetrics Department of Zhujiang Hospital in Guangzhou.
Most young girls would conceal their identity, but it's not difficult for doctors to discern that they are students, according to Yang.
The number of minors coming in for abortions rose 50 per cent in the first few months of this year, Xinkuai Bao quoted Wu Haiying of Guangzhou Maternal and Infant Hospital as saying. An average abortion in the hospital costs 140 yuan (US$17).
Many high school girls adopted a light attitude towards abortion and even considered it's a way to show their ability to bear a child. Some even arrived at the hospital as a group in a festive mood.
Doctor Yang of Zhujiang Hospital warned that terminating pregnancy too often might lead to habitual abortion and even sterility.
Zhu Jiaming, a sexologist based in Guangzhou, blamed the problem on a lack of updated sex education when Chinese children today are maturing physically much earlier.
As many as 40 per cent of parents said that they would not give their children information about contraception and 20 per cent said it was hard for them to talk about the subject, according to Yangcheng Evening News.
Installing condom vending machines in entertainment venues and schools has also become controversial in some areas. Many parents and teachers think it will simply encourage students to engage in premarital sex.
(Shanghai Star October 24, 2002)