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Cracks in the one-child policy


Things are looking up for Cao Ruyi, as I wrote the other day. After an international outcry, Chinese officials have backed off from their demands that she abort her child (though the family is not out of the woods yet). But another Chinese woman was not so fortunate.

You may have seen the gruesome photo that circulated on the Web of Feng Jianmei and the child she was forced to abort at seven months. The picture caused so much outrage that officials apologized for what they had done. "As though that will do her any good," remarked Cassie Murdoch at Jezebel -- decidedly not a pro-life site.

Speaking of which, if you want to see something truly horrifying, check out some of the comments on Murdoch's article, where some people are debating whether it's possible to limit population growth without violating human rights. The sheer reluctance with which many of them admit that it's probably not possible is blood-chilling. Yet all of this sudden publicity about the one-child policy -- as many nightmares as it might cause, and as many warped attitudes as it's bringing to light -- can hardly be anything but a blessing. I know people who argue that the one-child policy doesn't even exist; I imagine they may have a little more trouble making that argument now. Widespread knowledge of Cao Ruyi and Feng Jianmei and all that they've suffered may signal that finally, finally, the cracks are appearing and this wall is about to topple.  

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