The UK Telegraph has bad news and good news.
First the bad news:
More than half a billion birth control procedures, including at least 336 million abortions, have been performed in the name of the one-child policy, China’s Health ministry revealed yesterday.
The figure illustrates the enormous impact that the one-child policy has had on China in the four decades since it began.
Official statistics showed that in addition to the terminations, Chinese doctors have sterilised 196 million men and women since 1971.
[…]There are more than 13 million abortions a year, or 1,500 an hour, in China, according to government researchers, who blame the high figure on a lack of sex education.
Fewer than ten per cent of sexually active couples regularly use condoms, according to the state-run Science and Technology Research Institute. By comparison, there are roughly 11 million abortions each year in India.
And now the good news:
China’s demographics have been dramatically skewed by strict family planning. Last year, the working age population shrank for the first time in 50 years, a serious threat in an economy built on a huge pool of cheap labour.
The incoming Chinese leadership has already moved to dismantle the Family Planning Commission, which has enforced the one-child policy, sometimes brutally.
[…]Wang Feng, a population expert and director of the Brookings-Tsinghua Center for Public Policy in Beijing, told the Wall Street Journal that the government had begun the process of bringing the policy to an end.
That’s incremental progress that I can support. But there are an awful lot of people who are going to face God on Judgment Day and have to answer for what they did. Not just the doctors, but the people who made the policies in the first place.
UPDATE: My friend Lydia is telling me to be skeptical of this report, because China has made similar statements before about this policy and nothing has changed.