China County Proves Forced Abortion Policy Not Needed to Reduce Population

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 27, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

China County Proves Forced Abortion Policy Not Needed to Reduce Population Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 27
, 2007

Beijing, China ( — A new report shows one Chinese county that experimented with scrapping the nation’s limit of one child per family was able the lower its population rate further than the national average.

The county also avoided having family planning officials force women to have abortions or be sterilized for violating the policy.

Residents of Yicheng County, in the mining province of Shanxi, have been exempt from China’s coercive one-child policy for the last 21 years.

Families there have been allowed to have two children rather than the limit of one seen in most other places.

And unlike in other parts of the country, Yicheng has not seen rampant sex-selection abortions or infanticides that result because families can have just one child and they prefer having a boy.

Tan Kejian, of Shanxi’s provincial Academy of Social Sciences, tells the Christian Science Monitor newspaper that the results seen in the county show how China didn’t need the forced abortion policy.

"If the whole country had adopted the Yicheng policy from the start, we could have kept China’s population under 1.2 billion," he said. "And this policy was much easier for peasants to accept."

However, officials at the National Population and Family Planning Commission, disagree and say the one-child policy is working to bring down China’s population increase.

Yu Xuejun, a leading government official with the family planning office, told the Monitor that "the success of China’s family planning policy has been of huge significance."

"I am confident our general direction is correct," he said.

But Chen Wei, who studies population at Renmin University in Beijing, told the newspaper that most scholars "are recommending to the government that the one-child policy needs to be turned into a two-child policy."

He said the change could come as soon as 2010 when the government’s next five year plan begins.

The two-child policy didn’t come without a price as the birth of the two children must be spaced at least six years apart and men and women are prohibit from marrying at an early age so the birth of the children comes later than it would otherwise.

Societal pressures and concerns that are fallout from the family planning policy may force the change to allowing two children.

The Asian nation is seeing it’s population tilt towards the old and there may not be enough younger workers to provide for its elderly citizens.

China is seeing its male-female ratio worsening as its people use infanticide and sex-selection abortions to give birth to boy babies.

China currently has a male-female ratio of 119-100 while the number is closer to 103-100 in most industrialized nations. The figure is as high as 130-100 in some rural areas where a preference for boys is stronger to carry on the family name and work the family farm.

As a result of the gender imbalance, large numbers of Chinese man are finding it difficult to get married. The general imbalanced has also caused an increase in crime, selling of girl babies, prostitution and forcing women into sexual slavery or domestic positions.

Some girls are even sold or given away in order for Chinese families to have one son to comply with the family planning rules.

Chinese couples determined to have a son easily get around the new laws as a black market has sprung up of people with ultrasound machines in the trunks of cars or house closets are willing to divulge the sex of an unborn baby for a price.

China instituted the coercive family planning policy in 1979 and Chinese women and families have been the victims of an intense campaign ever since.

Ironically, China distributed ultrasound machines to local clinics on a wide scale after the coercive family planning policy was instituted to ensure women were not pregnant and violating the one-child program.