China’s One-Child Policy Had ‘Harsh’ Consequences, Two-Child Policy Limits Citizens’ Reproductive Choices

Project Syndicate: China’s One-Child Calamity
Minxin Pei, professor of government at Claremont McKenna College and non-resident senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States

“…[I]t is reasonable to estimate that as many as half of China’s abortions — some 6.5 million registered surgical abortions, plus untold numbers of drug-induced or unregistered abortions, per year — are attributable to the one-child policy. This implies that there were upwards of 200 million abortions over the policy’s 35 years. But forced abortions are only the beginning. Indeed, these figures — however shocking — do not capture the human suffering or the harsh economic consequences brought about by the one-child policy. … Now is the time to recognize [the consequences of China’s one-child policy], particularly given that China’s leaders are not done limiting their citizens’ reproductive choices. On the contrary, they are simply moving from a one-child policy to a two-child policy. Outsiders and Chinese alike must emphasize the senseless cruelty that such measures imply and work to ensure that they are never seen again — in China or anywhere else” (11/4).

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Headquarters: 185 Berry St., Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94107 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270

www.kff.org | Email Alerts: kff.org/email | facebook.com/KaiserFamilyFoundation | twitter.com/kff

Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.