The One-Child Policy In China

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In 1979, the Chinese Communist Party instituted a law called the one-child policy in order to decrease its rapidly growing population. Recently, this law has been changed to a two-child policy to increase the population. However, the effects of the former law still persist in China today. There are many different perspectives when examining this topic, but an ethical view is one of the most important because many people question whether or not it is acceptable for the government to interfere with such personal matters. Due to the policy there are distorted sex ratios, a large elderly population, violations of women’s rights, and practices that are harmful to women’s health. Since the implementation of the one-child policy, China has experienced …show more content…
A study done in the Sichuan province of China found that in 1990 a doubling of maternal deaths occurred when compared to those with government approval (Hesketh, Lu, and Wei Xing). This means that it is more likely for the mother to die if her child is born illegally due to inadequate medical attention or care. Forced sterilizations and abortions in unsanitary places performed by unqualified people are detrimental to both the mother and baby. Many times to prevent any excessive children, women are forced to undergo forced sterilizations or unwillingly have intrauterine devices inserted. The effects of these practices if not always physical, certainly put a mental strain on women’s health. The State Department of Human Rights stated that fifty-six percent of women’s suicides occur in China, meaning there are over five-hundred female suicides a day cited (Baillot). China is the only country where female suicide rates exceed males. In the State Department’s Human Rights 2009 Report, it stated that the suicide rate for females was three to four times higher than that of males …show more content…
In 2013 the population was 1.3 billion, and without the policy it is estimated that that number would have been thirty percent higher, or closer to 1.7 billion (Ghosh). However, the drawbacks of the law significantly outweigh the benefits, especially when considering ethical values. It is not right that government officials are interfering with basic human rights, and data proves that the population would have most likely declined naturally, without aid from the one-child policy. The most significant population decreases occurred before the start of the law. From 1970 to 1979 the fertility rate dropped from 5.9% to 2.9% using non-forceful and voluntary methods. After the policy was implemented, the population gradually fell until 1995, when it leveled to 1.7% (Hesketh, Lu, and Wei Xing). The recent change from a one-child to two-child policy in China has aimed to increase the decreasing population and mend the other issues it created. Although population reduction was needed at the time of its implementation, the means used were unethical. Other problems were created such as distorted sex ratios, an increasing elderly population, unfair treatment towards women, and an overall decline in women’s health. If the new policy does not address these issues, China will face many economic, political, cultural issues in the very near

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