Chinese women talk about China’s One Child policy

In China, women are pressured, and in some cases forced, to abort if they already have one child. Abortion is extremely common and widely accepted. Here are 2 quotes from Chinese women about abortion:

“It’s a rather common occurrence, [like eating] an ordinary kind of food. There’s nothing worth talking about.”


It’s a very natural thing, like eating and drinking. It’s not against the law. And it’s quite safe to have [an abortion.”]

Few talk about the one child policy partly due to the fact that you can’t legally criticize the government in China and their one child policy. However, the results of the survey in 1997 done by Nie Jing-Bao gathered the following quotes:

“People have no choice [if they already have a child]; but most women want the babies.”

“Because people want more than one child, the government forces them to have abortions.”

“The family planning program forces people to have abortions. Some are voluntary, but most people have to [have an abortion]. Rural people hope to have more children. Most people in cities accept the family planning policy. Although some want to have more children, they may lose their job if they actually do so.”

In a study, 18 overseas students and scholars who had either just arrived in the United States or who had left China several years before were asked to list the reasons why women had abortions in China.

The number one response was “the requirements of the national family planning policy.”

Nie Jing-Bao Beyond the Silence: Chinese Voices on Abortion (New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2005) 98-100

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Author: Sarah

Sarah is a member of the board of The Pro-life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians.

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