In November, the Hainan province of China passed a law to ban abortion after 14 weeks of pregnancy. According to a Nov. 8 article by, the new law means women who are 14 weeks or more into their pregnancy can't get an abortion, except for medical reasons, and violators will be deprived of a future right to have kids.
It is the first time China has passed an anti-abortion law. China has long been known for its support of abortion rights and often waggles its fingers at countries that don't favor abortion, claiming that they don't respect women's rights to their own bodies.
But it is not hard to figure out that the real reason the Chinese government supports abortion rights is not because they care about women's rights, but because they want to control the population. They forcefully abort "illegal babies" even when they are just one month away from being born.
Similarly, this ban on abortion is not out of respect for unborn babies' rights, but for the controlling of gender ratios of future citizens. The 14 week point is the time that a baby's gender can be determined. Chinese parents' preference for boys drives them to selectively abort female fetuses, as Chinese families are only allowed one child per family. As of 2004, selective abortions meant there were 120 boys born for every 100 girls born, making a shortage of future brides for the men, according to a Sept. 14, 2004, MSNBC article.
The Chinese government failed to prevent doctors from accepting bribery and aborting girls, and then decides to punish women for abortion. Interestingly, they have chosen to punish women's selective abortion with forceful abortion: Violators of this new anti-abortion law will be deprived of future rights to have children – which means, of course, any future pregnancies will be forcefully terminated.
Why is the Chinese government taking the gender ratio problem so seriously? Is it because they want to strengthen women's voices by increasing their numbers and elevating their social status?
I would say no. Prevailing government concerns regarding gender ratio come from "social stability." The government believes men who can't find wives tend to be angry at society. If there are too many men who can't find wives, they will threaten social stability. The only reason the Chinese government wants gender ratio normalized is because they want every man to have a wife, so men don't cause problems for them in the future.
From forcefully aborting "illegal babies" to denying women's abortion rights and punishing violators with more abortion, people are treated by the government just like a farmer treats their crops: Their amount and variety need to be controlled for the farmer's profit; but the "crop's right" is the least of the farmer's concern.
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