The Removal of the One-child Policy By Izzy Abbott

I chose to investigate the question "What are the affects of the implementation and removal of the one-child policy?" to investigate how people reacted to the installation and removal of this complex law.

Background information

The one child policy was implemented in the year 1979 by the Chinese government. This policy was made after the death of their former ruler, Mao Dezong, an activist of having as many children as you want. After his death, the government realized that the population was getting very high and the large cities too crowded. So, they decided to limit each family to one child to control this situation. However, exceptions to this law were made in 2013 in rural areas for couples who were only children and for couples who had a daughter as their firstborn.

How was it enforced

After a woman gave brith to her first child, she would recieve notice from the government that she would have to have some form of birth control such as an IUD (intrauterine device) until she no longer was able to reproduce. Any women who refused to get birth control risked her children's rights to public education and health care.

The policy in action

After the policy was removed, many women who had recieved IUDs were offered by the government to have them removed free of cost. This sparked outrage among mothers who had the device saying that they shouldn't have needed to get them in the first place. This device is thought to have prevented hundreds of thousands of births over the past 30+ years.

Some questions i had after having done this research

Although I was able to answer one of my questions, there are still some left unanswered such as...

  • Did the Chinese government not see how much this was an invasion of the personal lives of families?
  • Why is it that the government refused to offer basic rights such as healthcare and public education to women who feuded brith control?
  • If a couple were having their second child at the time of the implementation of this law, would they have to abort this pregnancy immediately?
  • Why do some families still think "one child is enough" after this policy has been lifted? Have they always thought that or have they given up hope of having a second child?

In conclusion

This piece of current events reflects ancient history in China because of its exploration of sticking to principles and following the rules/laws as one must do in a legalist society. The topic of the one-child policy relates to legalism because it describes how you must follow this law, or you (and sometimes your family) will receive punishment (a very important principle in legalism). Furthermore, this current event shows how Chinese people really value and try to uphold the idea of doing as you are told and, in a way, sticking to what you know (and have done for generations) in order to maintain peace between people.


Denyer, Simon, and Congcong Zhang. “China Drops One-Child Policy, but Exhausted ‘tiger Moms’ Say One Is Plenty.” The Washington Post (Washington D.C., District of Columbia), October 16, 2016. I trust this source because it is a highly regarded newspaper read all around the world. Another reason I trust this source is because one of the authors (Simon Denyer) is the chief of the China Bureau for the Washington Post.

The New York Times (New York, NY). “Outrage after China, in Reversal, Offers to Remove IUDs.” January 8, 2017. I trust this source because The NYT is one of the most popular newspapers in New York and across the world for information on many topics from politic to the arts. Another reason I trust this source is because the editor of this newspaper (Dean Baquet) has won a Pulitzer Prize for journalism.

Pestano, Andrew V. “China’s Birth Rate up after One-child Policy Abandoned.” UPI News Current (United States), January 23, 2017. I trust this source because it’s photos, news and videos are sued by many reputable newspapers, magazines and radios for information.

Pletcher, Kenneth. “One-child Policy.” In Britannica. Last modified May 26, 2016. Accessed February 2, 2017. This is a trusted source not only because it is constantly recommended by Dr. Brooks, but also it is one of the largest online encyclopedias in the world and is updated almost every day with new information.

Senthilingam, Meera. “How Quickly Can China Come Back from Its One-child Policy?” CNN Wire, October 13, 2016. Accessed February 1, 2017. I trust this source because it is constantly being updated on world news by almost 4,000 different news professionals. Another reason this source can be trusted it because its author (Meera Senthilingam) has received masters degrees in (science) communication from a highly regarded university (Imperial College London).

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