Despite changes, U-S officials say China's one-child family planning program is still a "harshly" coercive policy that leads to forced abortions and infanticide.
A top State Department official testified on Capitol Hill that the program still has "extremely negative" human rights consequences. Among those effects have been female infanticide in rural areas, serious imbalances in the sex ratio, and soaring rates of female suicide.
China launched the policy in the 1970s to slow the growth of its population, now at one-point-three (b) billion. Couples who haveunsanctioned children have been subject to heavy fines, job losses
and forced sterilization.
But there have been some recent changes, including allowing second children in rural families whose first child is a girl. Andunder strong U-S pressure, Beijing enacted a law aimed at standardizing birth-control policies and reducing corruption and coercion.
On the Net: House International Relations Committee: http://wwwc.house.gov/international-relations/
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