Since 1979, most parts of China, and most married couples, have been subjected to a one-child policy, but now the Communist government is dropping it. Ironically, it is doing so for the same reason it adopted it in the first place: demographic concerns. The policy was initiated because of the fear that unrestrained population growth would impair economic wellbeing. Now it is being nixed because of fear that low fertility rates threaten a labor shortage, which, in turn, impairs economic wellbeing.
The Chinese Communists, of course, never address the morality of abortion, forced or elected. Human rights groups such as the United Nations and Amnesty International, as well as feminist organizations, object to the coercive aspects of a one-child policy, and to residual issues, but all of them are quite content with the morality of abortion, per se.
The new policy does not ban forced abortions; it merely says that couples can have two children. Which means that the government will have to continue its practice of monitoring a woman’s menstrual cycle and fining those who are pregnant with their third child. If they are unable to pay, they will be dragged to a local clinic and injected with a lethal drug.
Ma Jian, a Chinese author, describes what happened to a woman with an unauthorized pregnancy. “For two days she writhed on the table, her hands and feet still bound with rope, waiting for her body to eject her murdered baby. In the final stage of labor, a male doctor yanked her dead fetus out by the foot, then dropped it into a garbage can. She had no money for a cab. She had to hobble home, blood dripping down her legs and staining her white sandals red.” As she points out, this is why China has the highest rate of female suicide in the world.
Some commentators, many of whom are market obsessed, are already hailing the new policy. Their utilitarian ethics is as corrupt as that of the Communists.