This fall, officials in China started phasing out the country’s “one-child” policy. But in its place, a new law still limits couples’ birthing rights: Now, Chinese couples can have two children.
First introduced in 1978, the controversial population control measures affected tens of millions of families. Penalties for violation were dramatic: pay an exorbitant fine or have a state-enforced abortion.
Forced abortions, sterilizations and mandatory birth control measures became commonplace, but the one-child policy also led to a massive gender gap.
Though the change in policies will allow millions of families to grow, critics of China’s population mandate say that regulating the number of children a couple can have is itself a tremendous human rights concern.
“Despite the platitudes given to China for the recently announced two-child-per-couple policy, the pernicious structure of coercion remains completely in effect,” Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) told CBN news.
Even organizations that traditionally come down on opposite sides of life issues have united against the new policy. Along with opposition from the Vatican and many Christian pro-life groups, Planned Parenthood has become a vocal opponent of China’s policy.
Smith said, “This is nothing less than state-sponsored violence against women and girls.”