From the start, especially in rural China, the policy was deeply unpopular. As traditional Chinese culture regards more children as indications of further blessings from heaven, even an authoritarian regime had to bow to pressure from time to time. The CCP made several exceptions over the years. For example, if one of the parents belonged to an ethnic minority, the couple could have two children; if the couple’s first child had disabilities, the couple could have another child.
To implement the one-child policy, Deng established a new bureaucracy called the National Population and Family Planning Commission. Unsurprisingly, in the ensuing years, the NPFPC grew into a giant bureaucracy with half a million full-time employees and 85 million part-time employees.
The NPFPC enforced the one-child policy through several means, including “birth permits” requiring married couples to apply for authorization before they could have a child. Children born without a birth permit couldn’t enter the household registration system, meaning they wouldn’t receive food rations and would face challenges enrolling in schools and finding regular employment later in life. . .
Couples violating the “one-child” policy were punished in numerous ways. The most “humane” punishment was a heavy fine that ranged between two to ten times the couple’s annual income. The wide range of fines reflected the fact that local NPFPCs had a great deal of latitude to decide the severity of punishment based on local culture, economic conditions, and most importantly, the zeal for the policy held by a given NPFPC enforcer. When dealing with poorer couples who couldn’t afford the fine, NPFPC enforcers would barge into homes, search for the couple’s most valuable possessions, and haul them away.
The cruelest punishment, however, was forced abortion. The last time I visited China, a friend told me that her neighbor was eight-months pregnant with her second child when the local NPFPC enforcers came to her house, dragged her into a car, and drove her to a local hospital to have an abortion. The nurses had to sedate the mother to perform the procedure. When the poor mother woke up and learned her baby had been murdered, she suffered a mental breakdown. She never recovered. (Read more from “China’s Sadistic ‘One-Child Policy’ Inflicted Billions With Unspeakable Suffering” HERE)