A Brief History
Fears of what seemed to be inevitable overpopulation caused China’s leaders to raise the age for marriage and to encourage couples to delay having children, limiting the number of children they had, and spacing out pregnancies. Finally, the Draconian edict of one child per couple was put into effect, but with many exceptions.
In 2015, the policy became a two-child policy, and in 2021, the government changed the plan again to three children per couple.
While the Chinese government declared the program a success, critics claimed the policy was a violation of human rights. Parents engaged in abortion of female fetuses and infanticide or abandonment of female babies. In April of 2023, India’s population surpassed that of China. Should such a policy be allowed?
Question for students (and subscribers): Was this policy a success or a failure? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
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For more information, please see…
Johnson, Kay Ann. China’s Hidden Children: Abandonment, Adoption, and the Human Costs of the One-Child Policy. University of Chicago Press, 2017.
Pohlman, Edward. China’s “One Child”: Policy, Population, Pollution, Protest. Planet Ethics Press, 2013.
The featured image in this article, a photograph by Clpro2 of a propaganda painting in Guangdong Province promotes the idea of a nuclear family with a single child, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
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