Sunday, January 25, 2009

Chinese Women Want More Children

Chinese family planning officials have released a survey which found that 70% of women in China want to have two or more children. The BBC makes only a cursory mention of the more severe methods that are used in certain regions to force women into abortions and sterilisations, stating that they have to 'pay fines and may face discrimination at work.'

I have mixed feelings about the release of this survey. On the one hand, it shows all too clearly the extent to which women are paying the price for China's one-child policy by being denied the right to have children, and issues such as sex selective abortion and the social problems facing only children have been raised. On the other hand, the way the survey is being reported in no way does justice to the suffering of women in China, aided and abetted by western aid agencies.

The one-child policy is described in the BBC report as 'controversial'. I suppose that is one way of describing the nationalisation of women's fertility; the abortion of millions of babies; the suffering of women who have been coerced or forced into abortion; the arrest, imprisonment and torture of those who have protested against this policy. Or it could, in the words of Wendy McElroy, be described as 'the greatest bioethical atrocity on the globe.'