According to Chinese media, 17 departments, including the National Health Commission and the National Development and Reform Commission, issued a guidance document on August 16 to improve and implement active reproductive support measures. This seems to be an action to reverse the consequences of the “one child” policy enforced since the 1970s by the Chinese government.

There are as many as seven major areas and 20 projects proposed in this guidance. These include improving the level of birthing services, developing a child care service system, improving maternity leave and reducing abortion, etc.

This is in strong contrast to China’s past practice of forcibly performing an abortion on women during the implementation of the “one-child” policy.

According to Asianews, “Women’s rights without frontiers,” reported 13 cases of violations of women’s rights in 2011. Due to the strict control and censorship of the regime, it is very difficult to get this type of information out of China. This implies that the real number of abuses should be much higher.

Accordingly, the report showed that women were kidnapped, whipped, and locked in operating rooms for forced sterilization. In Puning City, Guangdong, 1,300 people were arrested during this so-called family planning campaign.

This policy has made the gender imbalance lead to many consequences in this country’s society.

As reported by Voa, China’s birth rate in 2021 was 1.16. This is one of the countries with the lowest fertility rates in the world. Besides, China’s population figures show that the number of newborns will fall to a record low this year. It is dropping to under 10 million babies from 10.6 million last year to 11.5 percent fewer than 2020.

Voa cited population experts, saying that the “Guidance” was released at this time because the Chinese government’s “zero Covid” anti-epidemic policy has affected young people’s desire to have children due to economic crisis and mental suffering.

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