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Free contraception services provided for rural women
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One of China's senior family planning officials hailed the continued success over the past seven years of the government's free contraception services, which now help 120 million rural women every year reduce the risks associated with pregnancy and enjoy better sexual health.

Li Bin, head of the National Population and Family Planning Commission said on Friday in his keynote speech at a conference marking the World Population Day that the Chinese government has made the focus of its family planning policy to promote reproductive health in recent years.

"Family planning service stations across the country have taken up the responsibility to provide the knowledge and free or low-cost services on reproduction health," said Li.

Since 2001, the focus has been on protecting people's health rather than limiting the population, and progress has been made in consultation, regular check-ups and psychological treatment for pregnant women. Pre-birth medical examination and intervention has helped increase the healthiness of pregnant women and their newborn children.

With their efforts, 84.6 percent of women of child-bearing age in China use contraceptive measures to prevent unintended pregnancies, and the death rate in pregnancy has dropped from 53 per 100,000 women in 2000 to 36.6 per 100,000 last year, according to figures from the commission.

(Xinhua News Agency July 12, 2008)

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