Are you a survivor of China’s one-child policy?

Alia | June 15th, 2012 - 2:58 am

Tianya, China’s most active BBS, started a discussion yesterday, calling for people to share their stories of how they’ve survived forced abortions under China’s family planning policy, also known as the one-child policy.

The discussion was initiated in response to the recent of news of a forced late-term abortion inflicted upon a woman 7 months into her pregnancy. Images of the stillborn baby circulated the Chinese internet like crazy in the past few days and ignited fury among netizens. According to the Tianya post, the Ministry of Health revealed that there were 14.37 million abortions done as a result of the one-child policy in 2010. Many left comments of bitter stories to the post and shared how their family weathered through the journey of having an excess child in China.

“One-child policy has many merits.”

最爱吃自助: “I was born in 1979 and have an older sister. In theory, the one-child policy wasn’t in effect at the time. But my mom said local family planning officials forced her to do abortion when she was 7-month pregnant. She’d rather die than to give me up. 7 monthes…it was already a life! In the end, my mom had to agree to be sterilized after giving birth to me, otherwise, there won’t be me. My mom often fell ill since being sterilized, like back pain, etc. Symptoms are only getting worse as she ages.”

sunyup老孙: “A story at my hometown. A woman was near the end of her pregnancy but was seized by the village head. He drove her to the hospital in a tractor to have an abortion but she went into labor half way. It was a boy. The village head grabbed the newborn and threw him dead on the group. Afterwards, the woman’s husband killed the village head’s son. It’s a society where people are consuming other people.”

懒星人_: “My mom hid for a whole year and gave birth to twins. The story ended with huge amount of fines. We still have the receipt.”

葵子红了: “My hometown is Huangzhou, Huanggang, Hubei province. My younger brother was born in 1983, at the cost of 1500 yuan. At the time, everything that was movable in my family was taken by village officials, including the two cute barrels my mom took with her from her parents’ family. Even the doors were dissembled and taken. My dad was arrested and they gave him no food at all. My grandfather sold all he can to bail my dad out two weeks later. Until this day, I still remember there was a very long time when my family had only salty water with congee for food. Even until now, village officials at my hometown are still abusing power.”

没记性Q_Q: “In 1995 when my mom was pregnant with my brother, she hid in our house for the whole year without setting a single step out of the door. Afterwards, they [family planning officials] came and asked for fines. If we had refused, they’d tear down our house. My neighbor escaped to other regions in order to have a second child. Later, that child was nicknamed as “escape (逃逃).” I also have two classmates whose names are “three thousands (三千)” and “seven thousands (七千)” – the amount of fines paid to have them. If they were caught, their mom would have all been forced to have abortions.”

汤圆820209: “I’m a survivor born in 1982. All furniture at my home were taken. And our house was torn down. Because my parents had more than one child, they moved to live in the mountains for 8 years! My unborn brother was killed by an abortion shot at 9 months.”

mokionn: “My mom aborted a child when I was in primary school. I heard it was a boy. If we had decided to have him, my dad would have lost his job. My aunt was in the same situation. We can do nothing and had no connections. A second child meant unemployment. In the 80s, a job was everything – the entire family depended on it.”

1965331865山: “Kicking on the door. Smashing tables. Tearing down houses. That is the memory of my childhood. It was nothing different from Japanese invasion depicted in movies.”

小胖西北望: “I’m a survivor born in 1988. Both my parents were fired as a result. And a ton of fines.”

叫我润儿: “All of my 4 sisters were allowed to be born on the condition of paying fines. Since my family didn’t have enough money at the time, our entire family moved to a deserted little village and wasn’t able to go back until I was 6. During those years, we lived on our own. They [family planning officials] used to arrest my mom, including my younger sister who was too small to learn walk at the time. We finally moved back after paying all fines.”

Mr芽芽: “I’m a survivor born at the end of 1988. I stayed in the countryside for 3 years without Hukou (legal residency in China). My mom changed her job and wrapped herself in heavy coats the whole winter to avoid investigation. When my family moved back to the city, she told friends and co-workers that I was adopted. It wasn’t until several years later did I get a Hukou.”

But it’s also not uncommon to see supportes of the one-child policy in the thread of comments. Their major argument is China’s already very huge population and the many problems caused by having too many people. Yet, no matter what their views of the one-child police are, almost everyone condemned the use of forced abortions, late-term ones in particular. Many also called out that while the one-child policy still fits China’s current situation, much work need to be done to ensure better execution.

“Implement one-child policy. Carry out basic state policy.”

mokionn: “If not for the one-child policy, honestly, do you think we can enjoy so many resources now? No matter how bad this country is, right now we are comfortably sitting in front of our computers. There is no problem with the policy. It is the executors who go wrong. It’s the inequality between the rich and the poor that go wrong.”

天天笑笑的微博: “There is nothing wrong with the one-child policy as a national policy. We need to support it. The problem now is that the policy creates inequalities. It only regulates the poor and the rich are free to have as many children as they want. As a result, the poorer the family, the more children they have.”

富贵儿麻麻 : “It’s hard to say whether the one child policy is good or bad. It’s indeed inhumane, but China does have too many people. As urbanization accelerates, more people will move to the cities and it will create a lot of problems. To maintain a decent living standard, many families cannot afford to have many children anyway. In my opinion, to have two children is the best.”

Of course, there are people who don’t agree. 珈佳妞儿: “These are storied written in blood. We need to think back, learn our lessons and make changes. More people equaling poverty can no longer be an excuse. These are millions of lives. How can we have them killed just by citing a few excuses?”

And….China never lacks cynical netizens, regardless of which side they are on.

一鸵鸟人: “The one child policy is but a genocide targeted at Han people.”

猪肉馅儿的小胖饺: ”I simply don’t understand. These people have no home, not even the dignity of being a huamn. Why on earth do they want a second child?”


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3 Responses to “Are you a survivor of China’s one-child policy?”

  1. [...] Stories of “surviving” China’s family planning law. “Tianya, China’s most active BBS, started a discussion yesterday, calling for people to share their stories of how they’ve survived forced abortions under China’s family planning policy, also known as the one-child policy…” [Offbeat China] [...]

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