China might end one-child policy, but coercive abortion likely to continue

China may consider lifting its one-child policy, but that does not mean it will terminate its practice of coercive population control, an American advocate for women’s rights says.

A two-child policy to start in 2015 was proposed at the annual meeting of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and the National People’s Congress the week of March 6-12, according to The Lancet, a British medical journal. If enacted, the change would discard the current one-child policy in cities. A two-child policy already is in place in rural areas and among minorities, if the first is a girl.

first cries

Communist Chinese officials often have brutally enforced the one-child policy since it was implemented in 1979. Government actions against those found in violation have included forced abortions on women in the eighth and ninth months of pregnancy and compulsory sterilizations. Penalties also have included fines, arrests and the destruction of homes.

The program — which requires all women to have a birth permit before becoming pregnant and monitors the reproductive cycles of women of child-bearing age — also has resulted in the infanticide and abandonment of female babies, according to reports.

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