Chinese Officials to Relax One-Child Forced Abortion Policy for Quake Victims

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 27, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Chinese Officials to Relax One-Child Forced Abortion Policy for Quake Victims

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 27
, 2008

Beijing, China ( — After an international outrage that thousands of Chinese parents lost their only children in the massive earthquake that recently hit China, officials in the Asian nation say they will make an exception. Parents of children killed in the disaster will be eligible to have another child.

The quake hit near school classrooms where more than 7,000 children were located at the time of the strike.

The Chengdu Population and Family Planning Committee located in the capital city of the mountain province most affected by the quake recently made the determination.

AP reported that a family planning official by the name of Wang confirmed the decision.

"There are just a lot of cases now, so we need to clarify our policies," he said.

Officials also indicated that parents of children born in violation of the one-child policy will no longer have to pay fines for their birth, although the payment of past penalties will not be refunded.

The family planning office is also allowing parents of illegally-born children to register them as legally born if they lost a legally-born child in the earthquake. AP says the move is important because these children will now be able to attend school and receive other benefits.

In March, some mainstream media outlets wrongly reported the nation had scrapped its policy only to see the Beijing News report that the National Population and Family Planning Commission’s publicity and education department told it that the original news reports were erroneous.

"China will continue to pursue even better its population and family planning policy," the report said.

However, Chinese officials acknowledged in April that they are not only planning to continue the one-child family planning policy that has resulted in forced abortions and sterilizations but continuing abuses under it.

The latest reports indicate Chinese women who become pregnant a second time continue to face human rights abuses from family planning officials.

Radio Free Asia says it has learned of the case of a woman in Zhubao township in the eastern province of Shandong who was detained and beaten to force her pregnant sister to come out of hiding.
“After they took her away they were asking her questions about our other sister [the pregnant woman],” a younger sister told the news service.