How astrology and superstition drove an increase in abortions in Japan | The Japan Times Online: It comes around once every 60 years and last happened in 1966; the next time will be 2026. It is the superstition centered around the year of hinoeuma: the fire horse.
. . . In 1966, some 463,000 fewer babies were born compared to the years before and after. The decrease was likely due to parents wanting to avoid having babies in a hinoeuma year. Clearly, birth control was used to avoid pregnancy, and more fetuses were aborted. There were around 43 abortions per 1,000 births in 1966 compared to the expected number of 30.6 per 1,000 seen in the other years from 1963 to 1969.
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