China’s One Child Policy


The One Child Policy in China is well known around the world. The article that I have found shows how this system affects to the people and how well this system works out.


One Child Policy is the policy that changed the country totally different from the past. Because of this policy the abortion rate definitely increased compared to the past. Also “a percentage of these abortions were the direct result of pressure from family members, public campaigns and the actions of local authorities to abort second children.” not only the serious problem of increased rate of abortion, but also the problem of paying money in order to have second children is a serious problem. “In June last year a gruesome photo of a seven month pregnant woman and her aborted child lying by her side was widely circulated on Weibo. Feng Jianmei had failed to pay a 40,000 RMB fine for her second pregnancy and in response local authorities took her to a hospital to induce labor.” such of things happen in China, we could easily determined how Chinese people rather have boys than girls, since only men can continue their families (tradition). This tradition also caused huge gap between the populations of the two genders. The “gender disparity of 122boys to every 100 girls,” is the result of the One Child Policy.

By reading this article about the One Child Policy, I realized how this policy makes the women feel bad about their children. Since only one child is allowed for each family, the children do not have their siblings who can share and play together. Not only this but also the policy makes us to re-asking the questions of “Are fetuses entitled to legal protection? Is abortion justified in rape cases? What of a woman’s right to control her own body?” women are same as men, who have the right to make their own choice. Although China is the country that people are rather think of as collective than the individual, the women in China should have their right to make choice of having children.

Questions: what do you think of the One Child Policy? Do you agree of having this policy?


By Yooji Yang (yyy5121)



19 thoughts on “China’s One Child Policy

  1. I thought this article was very interesting. Reading about the One Child Policy made me think about the women and the children. these women are being forced to abort their babies or only have one child. I do not think this is fair. Since only one child is allowed, these kids will never know what it feels like to have siblings or a big family. The pressure is always on them. It is bad for the mother, the child, and the father. I think that this policy is not normal. I know it is the rules in China, but I do not find this fair. I can’t even think of what it would feel like as a mother being told I was only allowed to have one child. It is just not right. Are these kids not allowed any rights? They have to be aborted just because they were the second child? This is not giving women rights to control their own bodies and life choices. I think that these women in China should be allowed to make their own decisions. It is not fair to tell them what to do when it comes to having a family. That should be based on your own decisions and how you and your husband want to make a life for yourselves. I thought this was just not fair to these women. I understand there is a great gender disparity, but that doesnt make it right to have to force the Chinese women to only be allowed to bring one child into this world. That is a personal choice that the government should have no involvement with.

  2. Growing up I have always heard that in China there was a one child policy, but I never believed it. I could not believe that China could have a policy where families could only have one child. Even though there was a reason for this law to be in effect it seemed so unrealistic to me. I always believed decreasing population growth was less important then a child’s life or a parents child. After hearing this was true I was shocked and horrified. Although I guess this was Chinas only solution in solving there over population problem. However, it is extremely sad the results of this law. One of the outcomes of this law is the increased rate of abortion. “a percentage of these abortions were the direct result of pressure from family members, public campaigns and the actions of local authorities to abort second children.” This made me extremely sad, and made me think that people of China did not want to get rid of their children they wanted to keep them. But they were not allowed.
    Another thing that is extremely shocking and sad is the cost of paying money in order to have a second child. To me that is insane, I believe people should be allowed to have as many children as they want.
    Also I had always heard that males were valued more then females. However, I never thought that this would cause such a gap in differences between genders and number of people in the population. “gender disparity of 122boys to every 100 girls,”
    I was very sadden to read this article and the review of this article I can under stand where Yooji Yang came from when she said that she believes that women feel bad about the children they produce, because they can only have one which does not allow them to grow a large family.
    This law to me brings many questions such as ones Yang asked in her post. I cannot even believe what is it is like to be a women currently living in China having to be mindful of how many children she can have. This is something that would also sadden me. I feel for the parents in China, and I truly hope this law will be reversed in years to come.
    Many things about this article is extremely troubling to me.

  3. I’ve always thought this topic was extremely interesting, and I try to see the story from each side (the governmental aspect and the citizen aspect). The biggest problem the government sees is: if there are more people, there will be less space and lesser resources to accompany them. This, in turn, would cause the country to crumble and see economic hardship. This seems strict, but in the simplest of terms, there is some validity in that. However, the citizens don’t find the One Child Policy very attractive, very moral, or very easy to understand. Many argue that a woman is subject to her own body and can reproduce if she would like. I agree with this. I also agree with the fact that a family should be allowed to have more than one child if they want to and if they can support their children. Also, as you say at the end, how do you justify having a child through rape, how do we stop women from abortion to obey this law? It’s an extremely difficult question to answer and solutions are hard to ponder because you’re dealing directly with the lives of human beings. As of right now, this is the safest approach to the law.

    Post By: Lindsay DeSantis

  4. I’ve actually done some research on this policy in high school and it is still rather disturbing to me. I understand that there is an overpopulation crisis in countries like China and India, but I feel like other solutions need to be explored. This does MUCH more harm to a population than good. It is all about keeping “numbers” down while completely disregarding how it affects the people of China. I cannot imagine the pressure as a woman trying to start a family in China and being worried that I might have a girl because she would not be able to carry on “tradition”. I would be thrilled to have a girl, but the thought that that happiness could be diminished by a social stigma is really sad to me. Also, I cannot imagine having to PAY for a second child if I wanted to have another or if I just happened to conceive one. I want at least two children, and I just feel strongly that no one should be able to tell you how many kids you can and cannot have. No one should have the right to make that decision but yourself. The aspect that I find most disturbing is how the government has forced women to abort their baby. That is possibly one of the most inhumane things I’ve ever heard. I just cannot believe that is something that even happens. Women should be protected as well as their unborn children. There just seems to be a huge disregard for human life. I really do not think the one child policy is the answer. Later down the road there is going to be more and more issues associated with the disproportionate number of men and women in China. We may not know what those issues are going to be yet, but I guarantee this policy will have some unforeseen repercussions.

  5. After reading this article and blog, I found it very sad and disturbing about the One Child Policy in China. I understand that China is extremely over populated and that the policy is trying to prevent it from getting worse, but I think the policy is a little too strict. The fact that a women had to be induced into labor for not paying a fine for 40,000 RMB is not moral. That is one of the problems with the policy, it is not morally right. Abortion in the US is a very widely spoken about and debated topic. In China the abortion rates have been increasing over the years and no one seems to really have a problem with it because of the One Child Policy.
    This post included questions spoken about in the US over the topic of abortion such as, women right’s over her body, fetuses and legal protection, and rape cases. While all these issues are debated about her in the US, they don’t seem to even be conversations spoken about in China. Another interesting thing I found in this post is the fact that China is considered to be a collectivist country, meaning that they are “we” conscious and that they think of the group before themselves. With that said, I found it very surprising that abortion is even an option for the Chinese.
    After reading these articles I cannot find myself to agree with the One Child Policy. I can understand why it is being implemented in China, but I cannot agree with the extremes this policy takes. Being a women, my body is very important to me. I never want to follow laws or policies that take rights to my own body away from me. I am sure Chinese women relate to myself on this issue, so the fact that they don’t have a choice is upsetting to me. I think the leaders should take morals and ethics into account when implementing this policy, because I do not think the One Child Policy is morally right.

  6. The One Child Policy has always been a topic that has caught my attention. We have spent a lot of time in our class discussing the limitations to media and lack of freedom of speech and press in some countries, but here is an example of a lack of freedom of choice for women and families. It is unfair for a government to decide how many children a family can have. It is not only unfair for a government to limit a woman to having one child, but it is also disturbing to think that if one doesn’t pay a significant fine for a second pregnancy then the government has the right to abort the child. Abortion has been an ongoing issue in the U.S. for many decades. Beyond certain religious beliefs for or against abortion, there are also legal rights and protections that a woman should be allowed over her body and her unborn child. It also amazes me that men are still so much privileged than women in China because throughout other parts of the world, women are much more respected and have progressed greatly as members and leaders of society.

    -Molly Fenimore

  7. Pingback: Insight – The battle over China’s one-child policy

  8. This post caught my attention because I feel it’s extremely interesting. It’s hard to fathom the thought of being told how many kids to have and if you wanted more you would have to pay for “it”. The worst part about it is that it’s the government that controls all of this. It’s not just your doctor or what is recommended it’s what will be done. I’ve briefly heard about this “One Child Policy” and never took the time to look it up and do any research on it, but seeing this blog post made me realize how important it is to research. I personally cannot want to have children, and preferably a girl so that I can have my own mini-me. However, the fact the girls are almost looked down upon because they cannot can on the family traditions is mind blowing. Also, it’s bone chilling to know that the government will pay for a woman to abort her unborn child. How sad is that? Like could you even imagine? I suppose I see why the government only wants one child per family, due to the ever-growing population in China, however the government shouldn’t have the right to tell the women how many children she is allowed. The fact that there is an overabundance of males is also quite strange, don’t they think about that and what will happen if these traditions continue?

  9. I thought this article was very interesting and got me thinking on a topic I feel strongly about. I completely support abortion 100%; it is a woman’s choice to have a baby or not and make the executive decision to bring a life into the world. Mistakes happen. Rape happens. Minds are changed. Wouldn’t it be better to not bring the “life” into the world rather than have them be neglected and abused? The number of abortions in China, 336 million since 1971, seems like a drastic number that almost makes me question my beliefs. Not for religious purposes or that I think that a life is being killed, (because I don’t), but more because it’s almost like the privilege of being able to have an abortion is being abused.

    On the other hand, I feel that the One Child Policy in China is absolutely ridiculous but this article brought to my attention something I’ve never thought of. China’s population has reached almost 1 billion people in comparison to America’s population of just over 300,000. If there were not some sort of control over this, there wouldn’t be room for all the people in the country! However, I don’t think limiting a family to one child per household is the answer, but I’m not sure what would be. That would be up to someone who knows their culture and government better than me.

    I also found it interesting that the people of China don’t think that eliminating the policy would change anything. The country is so accustomed to this mentality, that it’s the norm for them. Also, having a second child becomes extremely expensive and most couples can’t afford to have one anyway. So with that in mind, is the country really being impacted in a negative way by enforcing this rule? Is the moral right for a woman to control her own body and family structure that important over what is better for the country? If that is the case, what definitely needs to be regulated is the way these abortions are done, so that what happened to the woman in the photo mentioned in the article does not happen again.

  10. After reading this post I have become more aware of the measures of the one child policy. I was always aware that Chinese women were not permitted to have more than one child but I never knew the magnitude of the harm they put themselves in by becoming pregnant after their first child. I think the one child policy is in a sense necessary for the Chinese because of the overcrowding and increase population in a condensed area. But I don’t think the one child policy should force women into abortions. Clearly it is a problem and will continue to be a problem. If the government is so worried about the amount of people in China, then they need to provide proper help to combat this problem. In order to do this they must create ways for women and men to receive different forms of contraception in a safe way. Clearly there are professional ways of practicing abortion but this should never be the answer for a woman and they should never have to put themselves in harm’s way and practice an abortion in an unsafe way. I don’t necessarily agree with the repercussions of this policy but obviously something needs to be done about the increased population and obviously the country is having many problems with this. I also feel as though women and men who were properly educated about the problem and properly educated about ways to prevent future pregnancies then they would not have to resort to abortions. It is definitely awful that most children will never have siblings and women definitely have the right to choose what they do with their body but it is heartbreaking to see that they feel the need to hurt their babies and themselves in the process.

  11. This was very sad to read and I am horrified that this can occur. I honestly can’t believe something like this still exists in the world. I feel as if it is definitely not all right to abort a child that the mother is 7 months into her pregnancy term, especially over a fine to be paid for a second child. I agree that this would make women resent her children, especially if they have a girl. Having two children is just not affordable with the fines they are given for having more than one child and I think it is definitely wrong. I understand they are trying to keep the population lower, but this just seems inhumane and so wrong. Women being forced to have abortions because they can’t afford the fines or if they discover that they are having a girl. This makes girls feel guilty about being girls and this gives a sense of self-esteem problems and long term psychological issues. I won’t get into the “when does life begin?” discussion, however I will say that it is definitely wrong to make women have abortions.

  12. I honestly didn’t realize this “law” was still in existence or popular today. I have trouble imagining that overpopulation is such as big problem that they are trying to keep couples from having more than one child each. Furthermore if they are going to take this law and make people get abortions how can they make the people pay for it. As ridiculous as the law is in my mind making the people pay to kill their unborn baby is just mind-numbing to me. The story of the lady seven months pregnant with her aborted baby laying next to her was incredibly sad to hear. Also it doesn’t seem like the smartest decision either because if parents ideally want a boy and abort until they get one over time it will cause an abundance of males and shortage of females which will cause problems. The whole thing is sad and confusing to me and I’m surprised this is still a problem in a country as big and powerful as China.

  13. I think this policy is very sad to say the least. The fact that the government can limit an individuals right to have children is just ridiculous. Something of this nature is just unheard of in Western culture. I understand that there is an overpopulation but the way they are trying to keep it under control is inhumane. I mean to put women and their husbands in the position to have to kill their unborn baby is so ridiculous that I can’t even wrap my mind around it. These poor kids will have to grow up as only children and sadly will never be able to experience what it is like to have a sibling. Whats worse is that the people of China are so use to this, that to them there seems to be nothing wrong with it. Hopefully something happens that puts this policy to an end.

  14. I this this policy is terrible. Obviously population control is a concern in many countries, but the United States would never put a policy into effect to force people to only have a certain number of children. Having children is supposed to be a happy thing, this Chinese policy honestly reminds me of like a dystopian novel or something where the government regulates family size. Honestly I feel like it does make sense and all because China is so over populated, but these children they are aborting could be adopted by families that actually want them. And to not even give the women a choice is horrible. this is only my opinion, so don’t read into this too seriously, but I think that it’s the men probably wanting sex in the first place where the women would rather not have sex than have to abort a child. The women in China are probably in such bad emotional states because these forced abortions. There’s families here in the US that can’t afford to have any more children, and yet their families keep growing. If a family has the means to support another child in China they should be able to have a big as a family as they want.

  15. I don’t agree with Chinas policy at all. It’s a women’s choice if she wants to have an abortion or not. I understand this is population control and China needs to have less people. They’re really about keeping tradition so I understand the need to have a male child to continue the heritage of the family. They should be able to have a bigger family if they want. It would make parents less controlling over their only child and by allowing more children can expand the kids activity log. No kid wants to be locked up inside all day alone doing endless school work so they can succeed later on in life. Having more than one sibling would expand their communication skills and help them network at an early age with their siblings. its sickening to know that they would enforce such a strict policy, especially to a women who was seven months pregnant. China needs to open their eyes and realize family is the most important aspect of life.

  16. I have always been fascinated with China’s policy because I have a twin brother. I was always curious to know if we were born in China would I still even be alive? I have heard stories about the girl twin being drowned or killed in other ways. I am completely unaware if this is still the case in China, but it is depressing nonetheless. While I can understand the thought process behind the One Child Policy, it is extremely disheartening that this is the solution they came up with. Is human life not as important as their economic future? I understand that having a higher population makes it hard for the economy as well as the government to support everyone, but this is human life. What about making birth control more widely available? Is birth control pushed in China or are women simply expected to abort their baby? This reminds me of the book Ender’s Game where parents are only allowed to have two children and it is completely illegal to have a third. The third child is considered an outcast and a lower being. Do the status of the children matter in China? Is a second-born child treated differently if they were allowed to live? I think if this is such a problem for China they should make birth control mandatory after the first child is born rather than force women to obtain abortions or pay a large fine. That is a complete disrespect for life regardless of what side of the abortion debate you are on. While mandatory birth control may cost the Chinese government money, it would make the citizen’s lives easier and would make China look more human to the rest of the world.

  17. I think that having a one-child policy is a pretty extreme way to control the population. A woman should definitely have the right to choose weather she has a second child or not. I thought it was very interesting how you brought the point that Chinese parents want to have a male child instead of a female because of this law. I think this makes matters even worse because that means they would abort their first child if it was a female. I feel like this law is very unethical and through your blog post we can see how negatively this affects the country as a whole. Women get more abortions against their will and families hope only for male children.

  18. This is a very interesting debate in China that has the country divided. I don’t really know what my opinion is on this issue because I can see the argument for both sides of the argument. China remains the most populated country in the world, with over 1.3 BILLION people. That is an enormous number of people. To put it in perspective, that’s nearly 20% of the world’s population living in China. Overpopulation is clearly a problem for China and it’s leading to several issues including the depletion of resources. How can you provide the necessary resources for a fifth of the world’s population? However, the other side has a pretty good argument as well. It seems very inhumane to prevent women from bearing more than one child. The increase in abortion rates is extremely alarming and forced abortions are obviously a horrific issue. I realize both sides bring up major issues but I’m just not sure what the solution is. The United States is the third most populous country in the world; when will we be having this conversation here?

  19. I agree with many of the comments that have been posted so far. I see two valid sides to this problem. First, overcrowding with such a large population is a very legitimate concern. With so much of the world’s population in China, it is hard for many of us to even imagine that many people being in one area at one time. We think our cities are crowded, but it is nothing compared to what it could be like. It seems like a logical solution to the overcrowding problem — simply limit how many children people are allowed to have. However, like this article states, this can have many devastating effects on the families, children themselves, and the entire population of China. The parents, also logically, want to have male children who can carry on their family name, but this can lead to a female child feeling unwanted or even being treated as if she is unwanted by her parents. This is the problem for children — they could feel unwanted by their parents, but also just feel very lonely without the built in friends that siblings provide. And finally, as the article stated, this can provide problems for the population of China as a whole — if people keep having male children, eventually the population numbers will tip from more than 122-100, and women will be in such short supply that the system will be obsolete. It is a good idea, but it is almost as if the system is designed to fail.

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