News Outlets Examine Reactions To, Impacts Of China’s Family Planning Policies

News outlets publish analyses and reactions to the announcement that China will drop its one-child policy and replace it with a two-child policy.

Associated Press: Analysis: China’s leaders ease birth limits but keep control
“The Communist Party’s decision to ease limits on family size makes China a bit less restrictive but is a reminder of the party’s pervasive role in society…” (McDonald, 10/30).

The Guardian: End of China’s one-child policy comes tragically late for many
“…Liu is one of millions of people whose lives were scarred by the Chinese government’s one-child policy. They include ‘orphaned’ parents, who feel abandoned by the state after losing their only offspring, and ‘illegal’ children, born into a life of legal limbo…” (Graham-Harrison/Phillips, 10/29).

New York Times: Ending of One-Child Policy Takes Chinese to Social Media, and Some to the Bedroom
“The Chinese Communist Party’s historic decision to ease its restrictions on the number of children all married couples are allowed to have, turning its decades-old ‘one-child’ policy into a ‘two-child’ policy, was met with a cascade of discussion on Chinese social media Thursday evening…” (Tatlow/Piao, 10/29).

New York Times: Costs, Not Just Law, Deterred Chinese Couples From Another Child
“…For most ordinary families, the expense of raising a second child is overwhelming. Education is costly, child care generally dependent on willing relatives. And partly because people have so few children, prices for everything related to children are high…” (Tatlow, 10/29).

Reuters: China to leave implementation of two-child policy to provinces
“China’s top family planning authority said on Friday the central government will leave provinces to hash out the details of implementing a new policy allowing couples to have two children…” (Rajagopalan/Blanchard, 10/30).

Washington Post: Horrors of one-child policy leave deep scars in Chinese society
“…On Thursday, China’s Communist Party announced it was abandoning its unpopular one-child policy after 35 years. But the scars still run deep. In 2012 alone, official statistics show 6.7 million women in China were forced to have abortions under the one-child policy. Rates in previous decades often topped 10 million a year. As a result, experts say, suicide rates among women in China are significantly higher than among men in contrast to global norms…” (Denyer, 10/30).

Washington Post: The human suffering caused by China’s one-child policy
“…The decision appears to have been driven by concerns that the country’s low fertility rate would create a crisis that eventually could threaten the legitimacy of Communist Party rule. Behind that big picture, however, are millions of smaller pictures: the individual lives touched by the one-child policy and the human suffering it caused…” (Taylor, 10/29).

Washington Post: Why critics are not satisfied with the end of China’s one-child policy
“…For many organizations, the chief concern is linked to the news that couples would now have a limit of two children. That change may make a dramatic difference in the lives of many parents, but many human rights advocates consider it an unnecessary and potentially dangerous limit…” (Taylor, 10/29).

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.

KFF 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 | Email Alerts: | |

The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.