China, the world’s most populous country, continues to keep its population growth in check by implementing strict birth control measures. Forced sterilizations and forced abortions have not disappeared.
As investigated, acknowledged and reported upon by the UN Committee against Torture, Congressional Executive Committee on China and Amnesty International USA women living under the oppressive reality of the Chinese authorities remain subject to a draconian population control program that grossly violates women’s human rights. The brutal machinery of enforcement is still in place along with the Chinese state’s insistence on the right of control over women’s wombs.
One year ago China announced the ‘one-child policy’ – was to be scrapped. It has been replaced instead with a new, universal ‘two-child policy’ that took effect on 1 January this year. China’s ‘one-child policy’ was scrapped, not out of the recognition that a woman should be free to choose what she does with her own body and her own fertility, but because the Communist Party finally woke up to the economic consequences of the falling birth rate.
Today in China, every woman of childbearing age is required to have a pregnancy examination every three months. Those found to be pregnant with a third baby are persuaded to have an abortionand and/or get sterilize. Although the restrictions of having babies was changed from one to two, all other rules remained intact, including fines and punishments for flouting the law. A fine of up to 10 times the annual average income is reportedly imposed on families opting to keep the third child, forcing women to abort or forcing families to go into hiding because they can’t pay.