Vietnam Proposes Two-Child Limit Similar to China’s Forced Abortion Policies

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 21, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Vietnam Proposes Two-Child Limit Similar to China’s Forced Abortion Policies

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 21
, 2008

Hanoi, Vietnam ( — Officials in the Asian nation of Vietnam have proposed a two-child limit on couples similar to the coercive forced-abortion population control program in China that allows just one. Vietnam has long had one of the world’s highest abortion rates and the proposal would likely increase those rates further.

Nguyen Ba Thuy, deputy minister of health, talked about the idea on Friday and said the government would likely institute it to limit its population growth.

"We are very determined to limit couples on having a third child," Thuy said.

According to the IANS news service, government officials say the number of women at reproductive age is at an all-time high and they are worried the high population rate will pout a strain on resources and the nation’s economy.

The current family planning law in Vietnam is already similar to China’s in that governmental officials who have a third child are denied raises and promotions.

IANS reports that the draft of the new law will include sanctions for families who violate the two-child proposal and Communist Party members and civil servants charged with enforcing the law will be reprimanded for failing to get their local citizens to adhere to it.

That could easily lead to the kinds of human rights abuses seen in China, where women are victims of forced abortions, men and women face forced sterilizations and couples and their relatives face job loss, imprisonment, forced labor and other abuses.

There are also concerned that the traditional cultural preference for boys will be exacerbated under the new measure and Vietnam already has an imbalanced 112-100 male-female ratio that could grow worse if girls are increasingly victims of abortion or infanticide.

The proposal comes after Vietnam’s health ministry reported that 58 of 64 provinces failed to reduce their birthrate to the government’s target of 0.3 percent — which is well below the replacement rate a country needs to keep its population stable.

In October 2006, the government issued new fines hoping to prevent sex-selection abortions from continuing to prey on baby girls, but the two-child law could produce the same black market for the abortions as has developed in China.

For the new measure to become law, the National Assembly must approve it.

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