Guardian Examines China’s Family Planning Policy

China’s “one-child policy, which actually allows a third of couples to have another baby, was supposed to be a transitional measure, but more than 30 years later it endures, despite warnings of its punitive effects on China’s development and families,” The Guardian reports. “Repeated attempts to overturn the policy have led to marginal changes,” the newspaper states. Instead, the policy “has been enforced at huge human cost — forced late-term abortions, a worsening gender gap, increased trauma and economic stress for parents who lose their only child, and punitive fines for families,” the newspaper writes. “Officials say the birth controls have been vital to China’s development and reduced the strain on the environment, preventing 400 million extra births in a country which, even so, has a population of more than 1.3 billion,” The Guardian states, adding, “But critics say the birth rate had fallen steeply before the ‘one child’ rule was introduced. Even those who agree it was necessary say it is no longer needed” (Branigan/Huang, 8/16).