Is China’s One Child Policy–which caused 336 million abortions–finally coming to an end?

By Jonathon Van Maren

China’s brutal One Child Policy may at long last be coming to end, according a report from Reuters earlier this week—and the motivating reason for the change appears to be demographic decline:

China, the world’s most populous nation, appears to be setting the stage to end its decades-long policy of determining the number of children that couples can have, a social media post by a state-run newspaper suggested. All content on family planning has been dropped in a draft civil code being deliberated by top lawmakers on Monday, the Procuratorate Daily wrote in a post on its Weibo account.

China has loosened its family planning policy as its population grays, birth rates slow and its workforce declines. In 2016, the government allowed couples in urban areas to have two children, replacing a one-child policy enforced since 1979…

Speculation that China may further ease its two-child policy was sparked early this month when China Post unveiled the design of a stamp for release next year that features a family of two pigs and three cheerful piglets. Debate on the policy was further stoked after two Chinese researchers proposed forcing couples with fewer than two children to pay into a “procreation fund”, an idea that was widely criticized.

The policy was introduced in 1979, a decade after a “two-child policy” was implemented, and the Chinese government estimates that the One Child Policy is responsible for preventing up to 400 million births. Chinese officials engaged in more than just prevention, as well—the One Child Policy is also responsible for a reported 336 million abortions, with Chinese women who hid “illegal pregnancies” being kidnapped by officials and subjected to brutal forced abortions.

While these population control measures had been promoted as beneficial to China, the opposite has proven to be the case. China’s working age population decreased by nearly 3.5 million people in 2012, a trend that will continue unless they reverse their demographic decline. The idea that one child is preferable has also seeped into Chinese consciousness over the past decades, and the government is now faced with figuring out how to persuade people to have more children rather than forcing them to have fewer–a bizarre about-face.

And then, of course, there is the unsolvable gender imbalance—because of a preference for boys, millions of girls have been aborted, leaving a ratio of 108 marriageable men to 100 marriageable women. In short, millions of men simply cannot find a partner, and experts worry that this will drive social unrest and sex trafficking. Gendercide, it turns out, has brutal consequences for societies that perpetrate it.

China’s One Child Policy has brought nothing but pain, misery, death, and national decline. It is long past time that this national brutality was done away with. Perhaps now it is finally happening.

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For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.

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