Calgary Herald.  November 1, 2012.  Editorial.  Scrapping its repressive one-child policy would be the best way for China to right a number of artificially induced demographic wrongs in its society. A think-tank called the China Development Research Foundation wants the government to begin phasing out the rule right now, with the goal of every family having two children by 2015. This would be followed by no limits on the number of children a family can have by 2020.

The policy states that couples in urban environments can only have one child. Parents who are both without siblings are allowed two children, as are families in rural areas if they have one daughter already.

Implemented more than 30 years ago to keep the lid on population growth, the policy has been directly responsible for the deaths of millions of unborn baby girls who were aborted in the hope that another pregnancy would yield a son as the only child. Besides the gross misogyny behind such a practice, the loss of those millions of girls has resulted in a shortage of women for young men to marry, and a shrunken labour market with not enough youthful workers making the financial contributions necessary to maintain retirees.

Ending the policy altogether would allow nature to restore the demographic balance and would reduce the abortion rate of female fetuses. It would also be one more way that China, with its growing international influence, could join the rest of the players on the world’s stage in enlightened attitudes.

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