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InsiderOnline Blog: August 2011

The Second Children Might Have Appreciated the Second Guess

Under China’s “one-child policy,” Chinese officials have forced women to abort unauthorized pregnancies and undergo sterilizations. This policy is the one Vice-President Joe Biden said he does not second guess. Biden, who made the remark on Sunday to students of Sichuan University while comparing China’s demographic challenges to those in the United States, could have learned the facts about China’s policy by reading the State Department’s 2010 Human Rights Report (published this April):

National law prohibits the use of physical coercion to compel persons to submit to abortion or sterilization. However, intense pressure to meet birth limitation targets set by government regulations resulted in instances of local family-planning officials using physical coercion to meet government goals. Such practices included the mandatory use of birth control and the abortion of unauthorized pregnancies. In the case of families that already had two children, one parent was often pressured to undergo sterilization.

A U.S.-based human rights organization reported that in August, the one-month-old daughter of a mother in Changfeng County, Anhui Province, was detained by local family-planning officials until the woman signed a document consenting to a sterilization procedure.

In April as reported by a regional investigative newspaper affiliated with the newspaper Southern Daily and later in the international press, local family-planning officials in Puning, Guangdong Province, initiated an “education campaign” to encourage nearly 9,559 “most serious violators of family-planning policies” to undergo sterilization procedures. Reportedly, 1,300 persons were detained during this process, including family members of couples who had unauthorized births, until at least one member of the couple in violation submitted to a sterilization procedure.

Posted on 08/24/11 06:07 PM by Alex Adrianson

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