Under the misleading headline, “China to Ease One-Child Policy,” Xinhua News Agency reported last Friday that China will now lift the ban on a second child, if either parent is an only child. Similarly, last Friday the mainstream media ran such optimistic headlines as “China Reforms: One-child policy to be relaxed” and “China to ease One Child Policy.”
In apparent response to quell speculation that this small adjustment represents a major reform, Xinhua ran another report over the weekend: “Birth policy changes are no big deal.” In this second report Xinhua quotes Wang Pei’an, deputy director of the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), at length. In an interview, Wang told Xinhua that “the number of couples covered by the new policy is not very large across the country.”
Wang “suggested that regions which have many suitable couples should promote a reasonable birth interval to avoid birth accumulation.”
He concluded that “the basic state policy of family planning will be adhered to over a long period of time.”
To say that China has ‘relaxed’ or ‘eased’ its One Child Policy under these circumstances is completely unwarranted. To the contrary, Xinhua’s weekend report makes it clear that the minor modification of the policy announced Friday:
1) will not affect a large percentage of couples in China;
2) is not currently subject to a timetable in which to implement it;
3) retains the dreaded “birth intervals” between children (if a woman gets pregnant before the interval has lapsed, she may be subject to a crushing fine or forced abortion);
4) makes no promise to end the coercive enforcement of the Policy; and
5) promises to continue the One Child Policy “over a long period of time” – which could be decades.”
Headlines stating that China has ‘eased’ or ‘relaxed’ its One Child Policy are detrimental to sincere efforts to stop forced abortion in China, because they imply that the One Child Policy is no longer a problem. In a world laden with compassion fatigue, people are relieved to cross China’s One Child Policy off of their list of things to worry about. But we cannot do that. Let us not abandon the women of China, who continue to face forced abortion, up to the ninth month of pregnancy. The One Child Policy does not need to be adjusted. It needs to be abolished.
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LifeNews.com Note: Reggie Littlejohn is the Founder and President of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers.