According to Chinese government researchers, currently about 13 million abortions occur annually, or about 1,500 every hour on average. As well, over the past 40 years Chinese officials have sterilized nearly 200 million men and women, and inserted 400 million intra-uterine devices.
Under China’s one-child policy, which was introduced in the late 1970s, Chinese couples are allowed to have only one child, although in some circumstances rural couples may be permitted to have a second, if the first is a girl.
The policy is enforced through brutal forced abortions and sterilizations, and the levying of crippling fines, sometimes amounting to several times a family’s annual income.
Concerns have been mounting, including in China, that with a rapidly aging population as well as a significant gender imbalance due to the prevalence of sex-selective abortion, the one-child policy is setting the country up for economic and social collapse.
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