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China aborted 336 mn kids

world Updated: Mar 17, 2013 01:32 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times
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Doctors in China have aborted over 336 million fetuses in about four decades since 1971 official government data has revealed.

The data was calculated from few years before the Communist Party of China (CPC) introduced the controversial one-child policy.

Besides 336 million abortions, doctors sterilised more than 196 million men and inserted 403 million intra-uterine devices in women.

The government in China began to encourage couples to have fewer children since the beginning of the 1970s and introduced harshly implemented one-child policy at the end of the same decade.

According to government reports, as a result of the policy China's population is 30% less than it could have been.

Though there have been discussions to ease the restrictions, most urban families can have only one child; the rule exempts some rural families, ethnic minorities and couples who are both only children.

Couples who violate the policy to have a second child have to pay a heavy fine, often hundreds of thousands of RMB.

A new amendment reported by the state media earlier this month said the government had eased the policy to allow more couples to have a second child in the rural areas of five provinces and two municipalities. It was announced on the sidelines of the National People's Congress (NPC)

It said that couples from rural areas in the municipalities of Shanghai and Tianjin and the provinces of Liaoning, Jilin, Jiangsu, Anhui and Fujian could have a second child if either of them was the only child.

Till now, rural couples could have a second child if the firstborn was a girl; both rural and urban couples could have a second child if the father and mother was the only child of their parents.

China introduced the one-child policy around 30 years and its long-term impact could result in a negative population growth; the world's fertility rate is 2.7, compared to China's 1.5.