China’s one child policy finds its way to D.C.

Posted on | september 23, 2011 | No Comments

In 2008 international rumors and reports flared in China that the controversial one-child-per-couple law may becoming to an end, however the rumors turned out to be just that and the law was then set to remain in effect for at least the next decade according to government officials. The  statement by the Chinese government ended weeks of speculation regarding the abandonment of the program, which would pave the way for more births in a country with a largely aging population.  At the time Zhang Weiqing, minister of the National Population and Family Planning Commission, said:

 ”Given such a large population base, there would be major fluctuations in population growth if we abandoned the one-child rule now.”  “It would cause serious problems and add extra pressure on social and economic development” (The New York Times).

The news was of great outrage and disappointment to many, as the law has caused a great gender discrimination. In a society where children are expected to dutifully care for their aging parents, boys remain the preference. Thus girls have continually been marginalized, discriminated against, aborted, and abandoned since the laws inception in 1979.

Three years later, we are now on the eve of the controversial law’s 31st Anniversary.  Tomorrow, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011 a Congressional Hearing Focuses on 31st Anniversary of China’s One-Child Policy will take place in Washington, DC.  At the hearing key victims of this devastating law will  testify, including Chai Ling, Founder of All Girls Allowed (AGA), who will share her personal experience of coerced abortion for the first time.  Ling will also speak out for unmarried women in China, as in China single women are not allowed to give birth.

The One-Child Policy has “prevented” more than 400 million lives since its start in 1980, and was supposed to end last September. This anniversary is a surprise for some.

“We must remember that the policy is One-Child-Per-Couple,” says Chai Ling, founder of All Girls Allowed. “No marriage certificate, no birth permit.  No birth permit, no baby.”

Ling will also share a very personal testimony about her own abortion experience at the hearing.

“Not every unmarried pregnant woman in China is dragged to a clinic for a forced abortion,” says. “But walking in yourself because you have no choice can be equally as painful.”

Ling also points out in her testimony that rampant abortion (with the majority of China’s women have more than one abortion) is not a cultural practice.  Before the One-Child-Policy began, there were fewer than 5 million abortions per year in China, while today, there are up to 23 million each year.  Many of these abortions are coerced or forced, as research shows that over 70 percent of women in China want two or more children.

At the hearing Ling will also be joined by two other victims: Ping Liu, a victim of 5 forced abortions and Yeqing Ji, a victim of one recent forced abortion, who will also give testimony.  The hearing, sponsored by the Africa, Global Health and Human Rights Subcommittee, is open to the public and will be held Thursday, Sept. 22, at 11:30 a.m. in the Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2200.

AUTHOR: Cassandra Clifford
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E-MAIL: Cassandra [at]


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