Chinese officials at the annual meeting of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and the National People’s Congress early last month discussed the idea of “relaxing” the one-child family planning policy that has resulted in forced abortions, coercive sterilizations and other human rights abuses.
The Lancet, a British medical journal, indicates the potential changes would discard the one-child policy in urban areas and have them join rural areas, where citizens are already allowed to have two children, if the first baby is a girl, in order to work on family farms and pass them from one generation to the next.
Reggie Littlejohn, of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, a group that focuses on the targeting of girl babies in abortions and infanticides in China because of the one-child policy, told Baptist Press a change to a two-child policy won’t stop abortions or human rights issues.
“The problem with the One Child Policy is not the number of children allowed,” Littlejohn said. “Rather, it is the fact that the policy is enforced through forced abortion, forced sterilization and infanticide. Even if some couples will eventually be allowed to have two children, the Chinese Communist Party has emphatically not stated that they will cease their appalling methods of enforcement.”
Littlejohn added that evidence from areas where a two-child policy is in effect shows the higher limit has done nothing to reduce the incidence of sex-selection abortions, infanticides, and the sale and trafficking of girl babies by those who have a cultural preference for boys.
The “areas in which two children are allowed are especially vulnerable to ‘gendercide,’ the sex-selective abortion of females,” Littlejohn said, telling BP that rural areas have a 160-100 boy-girl gender ratio imbalance.
“This gender imbalance is a powerful, driving force behind trafficking in women and sexual slavery, not only in China, but in neighboring nations as well,” she said. “Sex-selective abortion accounts for almost all the excess males.”
Meanwhile, as a possible preparation for a change to a two-child policy, The Independent newspaper reports Chinese officials in Beijing are reducing the hefty fines for couples in cities who have a second child. The new plan makes it so Beijing couples made up of two only children will be fined only if the mother is under the age of 28 and a second child is born within four years of the first.
Previously, couples had to pay fines up to 20 percent of the annual income. Couples where one parent has a sibling will still be forced to pay the fines.
“Fines on couples who have a second child, even if they are paid by fewer people, remain legally unjust,” Yang Zhizhu, a former law professor in Beijing, told China Daily. Yang sued local family planning officials in January because he had a second child and refused to pay a fine of more than $25,000.
In the United States, earlier this month, during a hearing in the House of Representatives, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton couldn’t say whether pro-abortion President Barack Obama brought up with China President Hu Jintao the massive human rights abuse millions of Chinese women endure if they break the country’s one-child family planning rules.
“I — I cannot answer that,” Clinton said. “I cannot answer that yes or no on that particular visit. I can tell you that we consistently raise it in our highest diplomatic encounters with the Chinese.”
Before that, during a visit to Washington, Hu denied China used a policy of forced abortions to enforce the one-child rule. Yet, after the visit, Chen Gunagcheng, a leading forced abortion opponent, was beaten.