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New York Times Examines Debate Surrounding China's Family Planning Laws

The New York Times reports that “[r]ecent reports of women being coerced into late-term abortions by local officials have thrust China’s population control policy into the spotlight and ignited an outcry among policy advisers and scholars who are seeking to push central officials to fundamentally change or repeal a law that penalizes families for having more than one child.” According to the newspaper, “critics say that enforcement of the policy leads to widespread abuses, including forced abortions, because many local governments reward or penalize officials based on how well they keep down the population,” and “economists and business executives have expressed anxiety about the impact of a slowing population growth rate on the economy.” “While more debate may be under way, the family planning commission itself continues to stand behind the one-child policy,” the newspaper notes (Wong, 7/22).

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