Birth Rates Are Plummeting in China and the U.S.

Shenan J. Boquet
June 7, 2021
Reproduced with Permission
Human Life International

"Marriage and conjugal love are by their nature ordained toward the begetting and educating of children. Children are really the supreme gift of marriage and contribute very substantially to the welfare of their parents." - Second Vatican Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World , no. 50

Politically speaking, the United States and China could scarcely be more different. China is ruled by an authoritarian Communist Party. Individual Chinese citizens lack many of the basic rights and freedoms that Americans take for granted. Political speech is closely monitored by a rapidly growing surveillance state, and censorship of the press and of the Internet are pervasive. Meanwhile, the government is continuing to expand its "social credit" system, in which citizens are rewarded and punished for a variety of behaviors deemed helpful or harmful to the Chinese state.

However, perhaps the most dystopian of the Communist Party's inhumane policies has been the country's decades-old, forced birth control policy. Enforced population measures were rolled out in China in the 1970s, before being hardened into a nationwide one-child policy in 1979. Under the policy, those who became pregnant with a second child (there were some exceptions for rural women) faced paying enormous fines, among other punishments, or even underwent brutal forced abortions, sometimes into the ninth month of pregnancy. Forced sterilizations were also the norm. "Illegal" second or third children were also punished by being excluded from many of the privileges of Chinese citizenship, including access to state universities.

In the United States, of course, no such widespread, enforced birth control policies exist. Of course, there were some instances of forced sterilization in the early-to-mid-twentieth century - truly abominable experiments in eugenics, implemented against those deemed by the medical and political elite of the time to be "unfit" to reproduce. Such policies are an enormous stain on our national history and have been far too qu