China : Forced Abortion, Sex-Selective Abortion of Girls Still Practiced Under Two-Child Policy: 2017 Government Report
The Congressional Executive Commission on China has released its 2017 Report, which contains documentation of continued forced abortion under China’s Two-Child Policy. In addition, the sex ratio at birth reported by the Chinese government indicates that the selective abortion of baby girls continues under the new policy.
Reggie Littlejohn, founder and president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, stated, “When the Chinese communist government announced that they were instituting a Two Child Policy, the news media proclaimed that China had “abandoned” or “scrapped” the One-Child Policy. As I testified at a Congressional Hearing at the time, this is demonstrably false. Under the Two-Child Policy, single women are still forcibly aborted, as are third children. The 2017 Report from the Congressional Executive Commission on China sadly confirms my predictions.”
Specifically, the “Population Control” section of the Report confirms that the Two-Child Policy regulations “include provisions that require couples to be married to have children and limit them to bearing two children.” Coercive population control remains at the center of the new regulations: “Officials continue to enforce compliance with population planning targets using methods including heavy fines, job termination, arbitrary detention, and coerced abortion.” These coercive measures violate various international treaties to which China is a signatory. CECC Report, p. 1
China told the world about its “decision to abandon” the One Child Policy on January 1, 2016 – implying that it has ended all coercive birth control. Meanwhile “some provincial-level population planning regulations continued to explicitly instruct officials to carry out abortions, often referred to as ‘remedial measures’ (bujiu cuoshi) for ‘out-of-plan’ [illegal] pregnancies.” Moreover, at least eight provinces have promoted harsh measures against women with illegal pregnancies, using such phrases as “fight the family planning work battle,” and “use all means necessary.” CECC Report, pp. 3-4.
Moreover, China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) repeatedly emphasized that the “social compensation fees” for illegal pregancies will not be abolished, including fines for those who give birth to third children. Report, p. 6. These fees can be ten times the average annual income for people in that locality. Report, p. 5.
For those who cannot pay such a large fine on an emergency basis to maintain an illegal pregnancy, what alternative will there be other than forced abortion?
The Two-Child Policy was instituted because the Chinese government saw that it was heading into a dual demographic disaster. First, China has a steeply rising elderly population, coupled with a dwindling labor force unable to support it. According to the government-controlled People’s Daily, by 2050, the elderly population in China will reach 483 million or one-third of China’s total population. Report, p. 8.
Second, the selective abortion of girls has continued. According to a National Bureau of Statistics Report cited by the CECC, the sex ratio at birth in 2015 was 113.5 males born for every 100 females born. Such a skewed ratio could only be achieved through sex-selective abortion. Meanwhile, there are an estimated 33 to 37 million more males living in China than females – a dangerous imbalance that is driving sex trafficking and sexual slavery from multiple nations into China “for forced marriage or commercial sexual exploitation.” Report pp. 8-9.
Meanwhile, the Two-Child Policy has yielded disappointing results, providing more than 1.5 million fewer births annually than expected. China’s birthrate remains “dangerously low,” 1.5 children per woman in 2015, well below replacement level of 2.1. Many people simply do not want to have a second child, in large part because it is very expensive.
China’s Two-Child Policy continues the human rights abuses and gender-based violence of the One-Child Policy,” stated Littlejohn. “Even with the Two-Child Policy, China remains firmly on the path to demographic disaster. China’s population problem is not that it has too many people. It’s that it has too few young people and too few women. China is in desperate need of babies. They should be offering incentives for couples to have babies, not forcibly aborting “illegal” pregnancies. Under these circumstances, there is absolutely no excuse to continue any program of coercive population control whatsoever. We call for the immediate, complete abandonment of all coercive population control in China.”
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