The Lingering Impacts of China’s One-Child Policy


China’s citizens continue to see the government meddling in their bedrooms. Although China abandoned its one-child policy, the impacts of the policy continue to linger, highlighting the government’s role in fertility choice of couples. Reflecting the government’s desire to limit family size to just one child, millions of Chinese women were fitted with an intrauterine device (IUD) (or sterilized) following the birth of their first child. Now, post one-child policy, the government is offering to remove the IUDs, a procedure which requires surgery and carries its own risks. Now, the government is fearful of China’s rapidly aging population, and hopes that the opportunity to remove the IUD will encourage women to have a second child – a feat that was almost unheard of when the one-child policy was enforced given the significant penalties for having a second child including loss of access to schooling, health care and loss of employment.


Wee, Sui-Lee. After One-Child Policy, Outrage at China’s Offer to Remove IUDs. The New York Times, 8 January 2017, A8.


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