According to China’s official news service run by the Communist government, China is reportedly abolishing the draconian pro-abortion one child policy that only allows families in urban areas to have one child and rural families to have two children. The new policy will reportedly allow two children per family.
Started in 1980, the policy, which is the most severe in the world, has resulted in severe human rights abuses. Family planning officials frequently jail couples who refuse to comply, sentence them to house arrest or labor camps, revoke jobs or governmental support, use physical harassment or violence and often target other family members.
There are more than 13 million abortions a year, or 1,500 an hour, in China, according to government researchers. That’s thanks in large part to the one-child policy — which encourages abortions and results in forced abortions and sex-selection abortions.
However, according to multiple news reports, China has announced the policy is changing. As AP reports, based on China’s official news service:
Xinhua said on its microblog that the decision to allow all couples to have two children was “to improve the balanced development of population” and to deal with an aging population.
The decision does away with an unpopular policy that was long considered one of the party’s most onerous intrusions into family life.
The decision was contained in a Communist Party communique that followed a meeting of the party’s Central Committee on planning the country’s economic and social development through 2020. In recent years, it has been unusual for such plenary sessions to result in major decisions. They generally focus on economic topics and there was no indication that this one would take action on the one-child policy.
The decision announced Thursday removes all remaining restrictions limiting couples to only one child.
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Despite the policy change, top human rights campaigners said the change to a two-child policy will not stop forced abortions, sex-selection abortions and gendercide.
Before the announced policy change today, Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey, one of the leading pro-life and human rights advocates in Congress, puts the one-child policy in perspective.
“In 1980 the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party sent an open letter to party members setting forth its plan to embark on a national one-child policy,” Smith said. “What came out of that letter? A cruel and inhumane policy, a human rights violation that is, in scope and seriousness, the worst human rights abuse in the world today. No other government policy anywhere else in the world systematically punishes, abuses, and violates women so grossly as this.”
Smith said the policy has made it so brothers and sisters are illegal and children are growing up in a society with no aunts and uncle because the one-child policy has now been around for a generation.
The policy is unlike any other in the world in that it requires all women to obtain a birth permit before becoming pregnant and children of unwed mothers are subjected to abortions. And it monitors the reproductive cycles of all women of childbearing age through a system of mandatory, regular, and crudely invasive physical check-ups.
He says the policy has created an “atmosphere of fear” where anonymous pregnancy informants spy on citizens.
“The brave pregnant woman who refuses to give in is usually detained and beaten – or, if she goes into hiding, her relatives are detained and beaten. Families that succeed in hiding an “out-of-plan” pregnancy are punished with fines up to ten times the average annual income,” he explained.
Smith said the abortions have resulted in a policy of “gendercide” where more than 120 boys are born for every 100 girls. This has created a bachelor society of men who will be unable to marry and has given rise to more crime, sex trafficking, prostitution, and other problems.
He said the policy has resulted in a sky-high suicide rate for Chinese women who face such a brutal and terrorizing regime.
Smith said those who don’t believe the one-child policy is resulting in forced abortions need only look at the numerous media reports, reports from Chinese people who have fled the country, and human rights activists monitoring the situation.
“The violence of the one-child policy is absolutely ongoing. This year there are reliable reports of large scale and violent abortion enforcement campaigns in Guangdong, Fujian, Yunnan, Zhejiang, and Jiangxi provinces,” he said.