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China Has Ended Its One-Child Policy; Now Has a Two-Child Policy

Chinese girl

For thirty-six years, China has fought overpopulation by enforcing a controversial one-child policy for families living in cities. Families who had more than one child in Chinese cities were penalized with heavy fines, and even forced abortions. This week, China has changed that policy.

The country’s aging population has become reason for concern, and as BBC China Editor, Carrie Gracie says, they’re concerned that China “will get old before it can get rich.” Check out this short, but informative video from the BBC explaining why this is such a big deal.

Now, of course, this means that Chinese families are still being told how they may or may not reproduce, which is problematic. However, given China’s population size and its economy, it’s not entirely shocking that extreme measures need to be taken.

Interesting, though, that in the countryside, you could go for two kids if your first child was a girl. ‘Cause, you know, boys are more better.

In any case, as China opens up even more to the world around it, my hope is that their economy improves through increased partnerships with other countries, that they increase and improve sex and reproductive education, and work toward achieving gender parity for its women. Limiting births is a stop-gap measure – one that we now see needs adjusting every thirty years or so. However, in most developed nations, population remains steady because of education, good economies, and valuing girls, which studies show actually improves economies and overall quality of life.

Which generally leads to a more sustainable population growth.

(via Gizmodo, image via alek_siev on Flickr)

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Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.