BEIJING (ChurchMilitant.com) - Forced abortion is alive and well in China.
Steven Mosher, Population Research Institute (PRI) president, reported Wednesday that two years after China ended its one-child policy, the country's population enforcers are still presiding over forced abortion and sterilization. In fact, he notes, "[L]evels of coercion are actually higher today than in the recent past."
In 2015, China's communist government instituted a "two-child policy," allowing couples to have more than one child for the first time in more than 35 years. But this liberalization of policy is deceptive.
Other features of the one-child policy remain in place. Out-of-wedlock births, for example, are forbidden. Women violating such restrictions, Mosher writes, "[A]re still being hunted down and when found, aborted and sterilized."
"In fact, they are being hunted down even more vigorously than before. In part, this is because you have more population control police chasing down fewer illegally pregnant women. In part, this is because there are fewer "illegal birth" fines for these same corrupt police to divide up and pocket."
The Planned Birth Policy's system of fines incentivizes corrupt policy enforcers to hunt down violators and force them to pay a penalty, ranging from three to five times the average family's annual salary. Those who cannot pay are forced to kill their unborn child.
After the one-child policy was instituted, population enforcement officials began to profit from "the suffering of the people," writes Mosher. "The huge fines they have collected ... have funded a lifestyle for these corrupt officials far beyond what they could have afforded on the small state salaries."
Fines levied against Planned Birth Policy violators are an important income source for corrupt government officials.
"With the new blanket two-child policy, part of their income has dried up," writes Mosher. "So they are beating down the doors of couples that they suspect of violating the new policy in an increasingly desperate effort to bolster their shrinking salaries."
China's population policies have incurred disastrous consequences for the country. Owing to a cultural preference for male children, tens of millions more girls were killed than boys, both through sex-selective abortion and outright infanticide. The result is a massive sex ratio imbalance: 30 million men forced by circumstances into bachelorhood.
China is also facing a "demographic disaster." After decades of coercive population control measures, 150 million Chinese families have only one child. The Asian Development Bank projects that by 2050, almost one in four Chinese will be over the age of 65. In 2010, the ratio was one in ten.
The phase-out of the one-child policy is a reaction to these statistics. Analysts forecast the two-child policy will lead to 30 million more working-age citizens by 2050. But, critics say, even this will prove ineffective.
"Demographically speaking, the two-child policy is too little too late to reverse the declining trend of fertility in China," observes Yong Cai, a Chinese demography expert at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Mosher observes that China's Communist Party "has always viewed population as a mathematical equation to be solved and been all-too-ready to resort to quotas and widespread compulsion when its proposed 'solution' meets resistance from the masses. This tendency to use coercive measures is literally 'built into' the Planned Birth program."