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China's One Child Policy Revised Due to Quake

Beijing, May 27, 2008 / 06:01 pm (CNA).- Chinese officials have exempted families with children killed, severely injured, or disabled in the devastating Sichuan earthquake from the restrictions of China’s one-child policy. The May 12 quake, which left more than 65,000 dead, was particularly painful for many Chinese because so many children died.

China expert Steven W. Mosher, President of the Population Research Institute, welcomes the policy changes. "Many of China's rural schools are so poorly constructed that they became death traps during the earthquake. The heavy tile roofs simply came crashing down on the heads of the children below. They had no chance to escape."

The Chengdu Population and Family Planning Committee, located in Sichuan’s capital, said that families affected by the disaster can obtain a certificate to have another child, the Associated Press reports.

The Chinese government normally enforces its one-child policy by fining couples who have more than one child. However, the committee’s announcement said that if a child born illegally was killed in the earthquake, parents will no longer have to pay fines, though previously paid fines will not be refunded. If a couple’s legally born child was killed but its illegally born sibling survived, that sibling can be registered as the legal child, the authorities explained.

Illegally born children are denied many rights, including nine free years of compulsory education.

Mosher, who has followed the one-child policy since its inception and described it in his most recent book “Population Control”, went on to comment that "The natural human reaction to losing a child is to have a make-up child as quickly as possible. But this will not be possible for most of the couples who have lost children to the quake, regardless of what the government policy is. Most women of childbearing age have been sterilized, or their spouses have been sterilized. Unless the government begins offering free tubal ligation and vasectomy reversals to these poor people, there will be no more children."

The authorities have also ruled that adopted children do not violate the one-child policy. About 4,000 children were orphaned in the quake and many Chinese have expressed interest in adopting them. Officials said they would make every effort to connect children with relatives.

China’s one-child policy was instituted in the late 1970s. According to the government, the policy has prevented 400 million births. Its putative goals include ensuring better education and health care to a smaller population.

Critics have charged that the policy has encouraged forced abortions and sterilizations. The policy has also created a sex imbalance in the country as boys are preferred to girls, who are disproportionately aborted.


  1. Eventually though if the Church wishes to comment on such policies, it will have to supply a real alternative and it can; but it will have to supply such in detail which takes work and a mini think tank at Rome rather than "because our dogma says so".
    Such a Vatican think tank will have to detail how China can take care of the 1 billion plus and so it will have to address the economic and agricultural aspects again in detail.
    Nations will more likely listen to us if we do the real work of detail. Citing dogma and leaving it there....takes almost no work.

  2. Thanks be to God, the Church has given us solutions to these problems. We can see it applied in India by none other than Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta and now continued by her Missionaries of Charity. It is called Natural Family Planning.

    Always the Church seeks to protect the human rights of individuals; and that means preserving the right of the unborn to be born. The Church realizes that band aids (condoms and contraception) are not solutions: the Church seeks to perserve and maintain the dignity of the human person, and to seek to raise them to the dignity to which we are all called.

    As for assistance to China, both Pope Benedict and JPII the Great commissioned nations capable of bringing assistance to be charitable in doing so. Catholic means universal, and our money would be better spent in helping our starving brothers and sisters than in spent in war and conflict.

    The great 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae predicted all atrocities to women and the humanity would be committed in the name of sexual freedom if contraception became widely accepted and used.

    That's because contraception is a band aid to the world's ills. The Catholic Church has given the world, thanks be to God, the direction we need to take.

    Only nobody's listening.