(PRESS RELEASE) This week the Chinese government announced plans to allow all married couples to have two children—ending the decades old one-child policy.
This move away from the one-child policy is part of China’s five-year development plan starting in 2016 that aims to expand social security provisions to more citizens, improve environmental protections, eradicate poverty and increase access to education and other public services.
Said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights:
“Every woman should be able to determine whether to start a family and the size of her family.
“The end of China’s one-child policy is historic progress, however a two-child limit still fails to respect reproductive autonomy.
“No government should control women’s reproductive health to address demographic concerns.
“As this new policy goes into effect, the Chinese government must create meaningful social and economic policies that will allow citizens to raise their children.”
China’s one-child policy began in the late 1970s when Deng Xiaoping and other leaders concluded that the country’s growing population threatened to stifle economic growth. The restrictive policy went into effect in cities, but in the countryside, many families continued having two or more children.
In 2013, the Chinese government eased some restrictions in the one-child policy, allowing couples to have two children when one of the spouses was an only child.