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China's Mother and Child Health Law

Updated on January 15, 2009
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Sunshine is a wife, mother of four, a relationship expert, a journalist, a photographer, a public speaker, and author.


In 1994, China's National People's Congress passed the Mother and Child Health Law, which took effect in 1995. Under the law, China was allowed to prevent marriages and births depending on people's physical and mental health status.

Many people deemed to have mental issues were not allowed to be married or have children. Also, people with contagious diseases were forced to forgo wedlock and the right to be parents. In order for people in these categories to marry, they had to adhere to lifelong contraception such as IUD insertion, or undergo sterilization.

Taking the law to new extremes, the government also decided to look into family histories of people wanting permission to be wed or to have children. Based on illnesses in the family history, the Chinese government could deny a person to marry or have children. Political prisoners and people with histories of illness were subject to sterilization.

Fetuses started being checked for hereditary diseases and abnormalities. If a fetus was found to have either a disease or abnormality, then it was terminated. Mothers of these aborted children underwent thorough medical examinations before they were allowed to have children again. Many times, they weren't.

Abortion and Surgical Family Planning
Abortion and Surgical Family Planning

Birth control methods were surgical abortions and sterilization. The Chinese government made no attempt to educate women on other methods of birth control. Many women were injected with a chemical to induce abortion into their ninth month. If the baby was delivered alive, the fetus was injected as well so that it would die. Women were given the option to pay a fine equal to five years of income, or to terminate the pregnancy. Often IUDs were inserted in women to suppress further pregnancies. This practice caused a significant elevation in infection and death.

Infanticide was widespread in China. In 1994, a study was done on 40 women over the age of 50. They reported birthing 183 sons and 175 daughters. 126 sons and 53 daughters survived to age ten. The women recounted destroying 78 of their daughters after birth. In 1997, the World Health Organization's Regional Committee for the Western Pacific reported that more than 50 million females were estimated to be ‘missing' in China due to infanticide and abandonment because of China's ‘One Child' policy.

Abandonment is out of control in China. Strong and healthy baby girls and mentally or physically disabled baby boys are left in sate orphanages, often called ‘Dying Rooms'. They are unsanitary, and the people who run them are severely abusive. Babies are starved and beaten to death. Up to one million baby girls every year are orphaned. Infanticide and Abandonment are so prevalent because The Maternal Health Care Law of 1994 strictly prohibits the use of ultrasound machines, although many doctors use them illegally so fetuses can be aborted rather than killed after birth.

Chinese orphanages are often called "Death Rooms"
Chinese orphanages are often called "Death Rooms"

Punishment for having a child outside of the ‘plan' are vast. They include huge fines and jail time, job loss, demotion, or salary cuts. Honor is stripped, and the family is outcast and resources are cut. Parents who birth a child without permission will be denied promotions. The child born without authorization will never be able to be a citizen, have legal papers, be able to attend school, own property, travel, or be able to receive a monthly allotment card for dietary staples.

Sex ratios to birthed children are generally 106 boys to every 100 girls in China before little girls are killed or abandoned, leaving more than twice as many boys than girls. The problem this creates is the 111 million Chinese men who will not be able to find a wife due to the killing of girl babies. China's hunger for women has forced the slave trade of women to skyrocket. Eight thousand women every year are rescued from China's slave trade.

Chinese law forces women to give up the right to have children. Social status determines when a person can marry or be pregnant. Women who are allowed to have more than one child have to wait three years in between children. Baby girls, referred to as ‘maggots in the rice' are looked down on. Only male children are important, because they will be able to take care of their parents when they become elderly. Because of the government's view on population control, women have been forced to become murderers, destroying their girl children.

How do we stop this atrocity? Better education on different forms of contraception. We need to promote equality between women and men. Policies to protect children need to be put in place. Laws need to be created for people who commit infanticide or abandonment. Laws to protect women need to be in place so they don't find themselves in a situation where they feel they have to kill their children. Legislation needs to be created to protect women and children from being enslaved. This is the most ignored case of genocide in history. More people need to be outraged and spread education.

Abortions are given even through the ninth month
Abortions are given even through the ninth month


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    • radgirl profile image

      radgirl 6 years ago from Somewhere in outer space

      Suz-Thank goodness!!!

    • profile image

      Suz 6 years ago

      I was adopted from China... I can't speak Chinese, I was put into a disability orphange with no disobility, my experience there wasn't the best I was put up for adoption not even a year old and they no nothing about my birth family...but things happen for a reason, thank God I am alive and now in a loving home,,, I was adopted when I was 5... I wasnt really suppose to be adopted since I was 5 but my mom taught hard for me!!(:

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      国小军 6 years ago

      It's sad this happens ...

      all the children out there that are adopted from china I have some thing incommon. I can't speak Chinese I wish I could ,I have so many questions that can't be awenserd . I am lucky I was adopted before I starved to death I was 2 years and 2 mounths and weighed 14 pounds. I Am 15 and healthy in a loveing and caring home :)

      I wish I could help those orphans xxxxxx RIP xxxxx

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      Bridie Le Couteur 7 years ago

      That is absolutely disgusting, I hope that the cowardly chits that equate to the Chinese government die slow and painful deaths, then get haunted by the MILLIONS of babies and mothers that they have murdered. Burn in Hell, Chinese Government, choke on your own lungs, the rest of the world doesn't care how you die, you just don't deserve to be on the planet. R.I.P. Beautiful Angels, even though China didn't want you, you still hold a place in my and the world's heart. I love you.



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      bree 8 years ago

      that is so mean