Behind the Silence: Chinese Voices on Abortion

Front Cover
Rowman & Littlefield, 2005 - Social Science - 294 pages
0 Reviews
Behind the Silence is the first in-depth work in any language to explore the diverse perspectives of mainland Chinese regarding induced abortion and fetal life in the context of the world's most ambitious and intrusive family planning program. Bringing to light the range of Chinese views and experiences, Nie Jing-Bao draws on extensive primary sources and intensive fieldwork, including surveys by and interviews with hundreds of rural, urban, and overseas Chinese. Nie's exploration of the multi-layered meanings of public silence, official pronouncements, forgotten controversies from the Imperial era, public and private consensus and disagreement, women's personal stories, and doctors' narratives provides compelling evidence on the remarkably varied, sometimes critical, and often tormented voices of the Chinese people. Revealing a surprising range of beliefs and feelings concerning the morality of abortion and fetal life, the book nevertheless finds widespread acceptance of national population policies. It also examines the personal anguish and complex socio-cultural and ethical issues entwined with coerced abortion essential to enforce birth-control policies. In addition, the author argues, the abortion issue illustrates the importance of taking seriously China's internal plurality if Westerners and Chinese are to develop a fruitful cross-cultural dialogue.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Introduction
1
Listening to the Silence The Absence of Public Debate and Its Meaning
13
Instructions from Above Official Positions
39
The Forgotten Controversies Heritage of Imperial Times
67
Tidings from the Populace Consensus and Contention in the Survey Results
95
Bitterness beyond Words Womens Narratives
135
Fulfilling Discordant Duties Doctors Narratives
163
An Inquiry into Coerced Abortion Sociocultural and Ethical Issues
189
The Challenge of CrossCultural Dialogue Taking Seriously Chinas Internal Plurality
223
The Pilot Study the Survey and the Interviews
255
References
265
Index
276
Acknowledgments
290
About the Author
293
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2005)

Nie Jing-Bao is senior lecturer at the Bioethics Centre, University of Otago, New Zealand, and adjunct/visiting professor at several Chinese universities. He has published nearly sixty journal articles and book chapters, and is the author of Medical Ethics in China (2006). Another area of his research focuses on Japanese wartime medical atrocities in China.

Bibliographic information