NRL News

Chinese Gendercide: An Unqualified Wrong

by | Sep 2, 2011

By Rob Schwarzwalder

Rob Schwarzwalder

The Associated Press reports that China’s “one-child policy (is) a surprising boon” for that nation’s girls.

The remarkable story notes that “Since 1979, China’s family planning rules have barred nearly all urban families from having a second child in a bid to stem population growth. With no male heir competing for resources, parents have spent more on their daughters’ education and well-being.”

Only later in the piece do we learn the following:

With the arrival of sonogram technology in the 1980′s, some families no longer merely hoped for a boy, they were able to engineer a male heir by terminating pregnancies when the fetus was a girl.

“It is gendercide,” said Therese Hesketh, a University College London professor who has studied China‘s skewed sex ratio. “I don’t understand why China doesn’t just really penalize people who’ve had sex-selective abortions and the people who do them. The law exists but nobody enforces it.”

To combat the problem, China allows families in rural areas, where son preference is strongest, to have a second child if their first is a girl. The government has also launched education campaigns promoting girls and gives cash subsidies to rural families with daughters.

Still, 43 million girls have “disappeared” in China due to gender-selective abortion as well as neglect and inadequate access to health care and nutrition, the United Nations estimated in a report last year.

Yin Yin Nwe, UNICEF’s representative to China, puts it bluntly: The one-child policy brings many benefits for girls “but they have to be born first.”

As Science Magazine writer Mara Hvistendahl’s Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls and the Consequences of a World Full of Men documents, the U.N. Population Fund has provided funding such that, in total, 160 million Asian women have been aborted in recent decades.

My colleague Tom McClusky, Sr. Vice-President at FRC Action, has noted that “the Obama Administration not only reinstated funding for UNFPA, the UN agency that subsidizes and gives cover to China’s ‘repugnant’ policy but also increased said funding to $50 million a year.”

The result, in China, has been very simple if profoundly dangerous: As CBS News reports, China simply has “too many men.”  As noted on 60 Minutes, “The one-child policy is 25 years old, so the first generation is just now reaching marriage age, and for China that’s a big problem because it is estimated that as many as 40 million of its young men could spend their lives as bachelors.”

The aborted girls are persons, endowed by God with the right to life.  Killing them, either due to a desire for a male child or because the coercive policy of the Communist state demands it, is immoral, an offense against our Creator and our fellow human beings.   To suggest that the lives of the girls who have survived this slaughter have been improved is to lend an artifice of moral justification to gross evil.

Can we be glad some Chinese women now have college degrees?  Sure.  But not at the expense of millions of lives.

Editor’s note. This first appeared at on Mr. Schwarzwalder’s blog at