After decades of strictly enforcing a one-child policy—including by forcing women to abort their children even during late stages of their pregnancy—China seems to now desperately want women to give birth. Now, rather than requiring permission to give birth, women must get permission to get an abortion.
The Chinese regime introduced the one-child policy in the late 1970s as a form of population control, citing China’s fast-growing population and limited resources. Each family was only allowed to have one child. Violators were either heavily fined or brutally forced to abort their children and undergo sterilization procedures.
Because of traditional beliefs that boys are more capable of helping a household as parents age, this policy led many families to abort their baby girls.
Years later, the policy has produced a severe gender imbalance: There are roughly 115.4 boys to every 100 girls in China, according to the World Bank.
The social burden prompted the Chinese regime to abolish the policy in 2015, allowing couples to have a second child.
In Jiangxi Province, the authorities recently issued a new rule in an attempt to force families to have more children.
Jiangxi Daily, a state-run newspaper, reported on June 21 that the province’s Health and Family Planning Commission has issued a notice requiring women who wish to have an abortion past 14 weeks to first get signed approval from three medical professionals to prove that the abortion is medically necessary.
If the abortion is not for medical reasons, women must provide approval from government “family planning” agencies, according to a report by Voice of America. Such agencies were once in charge of enforcing the one-child policy.
Since the 14-week threshold is typically when a fetus’s gender can be detected, observers believe that this is the Chinese authorities’ attempt to prevent people from aborting children based on their gender and further exacerbating the gender imbalance.
The imbalance has resulted in a disproportionate number of men who may be bachelors for the rest of their lives. Meanwhile, the population is quickly aging, with the elderly unable to provide for themselves, as they only have one child who is faced with the burden of caring for both parents and grandparents. The workforce is also shrinking.
Despite that the regime dropped the one-child policy, women in some regions of China continue to face pressure to abort their children, including threats of being fired from their jobs and heavy fines. Rising living costs, from rent to infant formula, have also made raising a second child in China very expensive.
As a result, the number of newborns did not increase significantly after the ban was lifted. In 2016, the first year after the policy was dropped, the number of newborns was up 7.9 percent from 2015, at 17.86 million. But in 2017, births dropped to 17.23 million, according to a Wall Street Journal report, citing China’s official statistics.