China: 400 Million Forced Abortions, Sterilizations Under One-Child Policy

International   |   Anne Morse   |   Jun 12, 2013   |   6:43PM   |   Beijing, China

Recent reports from China show coercion in China’s infamous one-child policy is once again on the rise. Women in the southern city of Huizhou are being targeted for sterilization. Those who have one child are being forced to wear IUDs. Those who have two children are subject to tubal ligation. Those who bear an “illegal” child are being denied all government services. This means life without access to schools, hospitals, retirement benefits, etc.

“Four hundred million forced abortions and sterilizations is enough,” says Steven Mosher, the President of the Population Research Institute (PRI). “Chinese women, children and families have suffered enough over the past 33 years. It is time to end the misguided one-child policy.”

Mass abortion and sterilization campaigns are nothing new in China. PRI has documented many such campaigns in the past. What is new is increased international pressure to ease the policy.

Joining Bob Fu of the China Aid Association, blind human rights activist Chen Guangcheng, and others who have called for an end to the policy, Mosher said, “Morality aside, China’s policy no longer makes demographic, economic or political sense. China currently faces a below replacement birth rate, an aging workforce, and weakened political legitimacy.”



The latest census data suggests the depth of China’s demographic crisis. Fertility in China is already low, and the few children that are born are disproportionately male. For a population to replace itself, each woman needs to have 1.00 daughter who lives to childbearing age. But on average, Chinese women bear only 0.69 daughters, which is well below replacement.

Decades of sex-selective abortion have produced an enormous “gender gap” in China: There are now tens of millions more men than women in that country, a ticking time bomb that will either explode inward into internal unrest, or outward into external aggression in the years to come.