Demographic Policy and Abortion in China

General Purpose: To inform

Specific Purpose: To inform my audience about the demographic policy and countless abortions in China.

Thesis: China is experiencing overpopulation and has been reaching its limits for 40 years.

I. Introductory paragraph

A. Attention Getter: A barbaric demographic policy in China has not yet ended.

B. Reason to Listen: China currently has a population of 1.3 billion. Chinese doctors annually perform 8.2 million abortions – enough to re-populate London, UK, 40 times.

C. Thesis Statement: More than 330 million abortions and almost 200 million sterilizations have been performed in China since the one-child policy has been implemented.

D. Preview of Main Points:

  1.  First, I will discuss the demographic situation in China today.
  2.  Second, I will discuss the one-child policy and abortion.
  3.  Finally, I will discuss the consequences and future predictions concerning demographic policy in China.

II. Body paragraphs

A. The demographic situation in China in 2013

The current population of China is nearly at 1.3 billion, the largest of any country in the world. The population growth rate is 0.47% ranking 156th in the world. Since 1979, the growth has slowed with the one-child policy.

China is the most populated country in the world and its national population density is 137/km2

` Reflecting a gender disparity, according to 2012 census, males account for 51% of China’s 1.3 billion people, while females account for 49%.

According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics reported in January, 2013, the amount of the labor force (people aged 15 to 59), shortened to 937.27 million people. It is a decrease of 3.45 million from 2011 and is expected to decrease by 10 million per year starting in 2025.

Some economic spectators claim that Chinese workers are becoming more expensive, and such forecasts may cause a destructive consequence on the economic situation of China.

In absolute terms, the urban population is expected to peak at 1.2 billion in 2060 — which is broadly the same as today’s total population for the entire country — compared with 450 million in 1995.

B. One-child policy and abortion

A tremendous growth of population started with the Mao Zedong, whose politics encouraged large families and prohibited abortion and use of contraception. Such policy was made to boost the workforce and National Army. As a consequence, by the time of Deng Xiaoping in 1978, the population doubled in comparison with 1949. Such numbers required preventive actions. So, the one-child policy was proposed and accepted. The policy allows couples to have only one child, or two in the countryside if the first child is a girl.

As a related support to the policy, abortion became legal, with pregnancies referred to a governmental service. Induced abortions are more common in urban areas, where couples may only have one child.

In all parts of China, a compulsory sterilization is a common form of birth control. Women who have two children are recommended for sterilization. In other cases, if a woman becomes pregnant with a third child, she is forced to have an abortion.

Also, an ultrasound diagnosis allows women to choose the sex of their future baby. Boys are more preferable, especially in the countryside. That leads to another preference for abortion.

China’s Science and Research Institute issued a report concerning the lack of sex education, stating that less than 10 percent of couples use condoms on a regular basis, resulting in a high number of abortions,

C. Consequences and future predictions of demographic policy in China

As a result of the one-child policy, China decreased the number in population. However, China is faced with a high number of abortions. In addition, it faces legal challenges from its people.

Today, China’s main problem is a decreasing number in the work force. The second problem is that China is still overpopulated. So, experts propose two possible solutions to the problem. The first is to postpone the retirement age. The second is to offer a second-child policy.

Surely, a demographic rebalancing will take years. But the more important humane effects could be felt sooner, such as providing Chinese citizens with expanded, though still limited, reproductive liberties unknown for decades.

Short term solutions are needed that will focus on slowing population growth. For example, developing and supporting innovation, promoting a consumer-spending driven economy, and raising the workforce’s level of education. Ending the one-child policy is just one part of the solution. Coping with these demographic changes will require China’s leaders to adopt a comprehensive strategy.



1. “China Development Statistics.” National Bureau of Statistics of China, 18 January 2013.
2. “China’s One-Child Policy May be Coming to an End.” SCMP, 22 January 2013.
3. “The Effect of China’s One-Child Family Policy after 25 Years.” The New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 353, Iss. 11. Retrieved 5 Dec 2011.
4. “400 Million Births Prevented by One-Child Policy.” People’s Daily online. October 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
5. Jian, Ma. “China’s Barbaric One Child Policy,” The Guardian, Monday 6 May 2013.
6. Lerner, K., Lee, and Brenda. “Human Population.” The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. Retrieved December 11, 2012.
7. Minter, Adam. “China Takes One Step Away From One-Child Policy.” Bloomberg View, March 20, 2013.
8. “Why China Is Finally Abandoning Its One Child Policy.” Forbes, March 28, 2013.
9. Wong, Edward (July 22, 2012). “Reports of Forced Abortions Fuel Push to End Chinese Law.” The New York Times. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
10. “The Worldwide War on Baby Girls.” The Economist. March 8, 2010. Retrieved May 4, 2010.