Wednesday, January 03, 2007

China's Henan Provence Bans Abortion Drugs

In their continuing effort to stem their increasingly gender imbalanced population, China's Henan province has banned abortion drugs, after admitting that sex-based abortions (despite being illegal) are still widespread.

Unfortunately, I suspect this will simply do one of two things: either make abortions more dangerous by making them back alley (even if drug-based back alley), or increase the number of female babies abandoned in orphanages.


ChinaLawBlog said...

Unfortuntately, I think you are right.

marin gillis said...

And then there is this news about the new restrictions on foreign adoptions in China:

BuddhistValkyrie said...

Yep Marin - that's the first link in the post; the vast majority of the children adopted out of China are female, and the predicted shortage of women is becoming a huge concern. (Without enough women to marry, in a family-based culture that doesn't rely on nursing homes to hide its elderly, there's a significant worry over what's going to happen to older men and women when there is no family home for them to move to, and be taken care of in.)

According to someone I know who's got a bit of an inside on the adoption policies of China (having been through the hoops once, and starting to go through it again, although paused until they've been married the required five years), part of it simply has to do with there being so much demand, the Chinese officials can't keep up with paperwork, and are looking to figure out some way to stem the tide. However, her opinion that it also goes back to saving face, and values - thus we see overweight people not being allowed to adopt, folks with four or more children, who've been divorced and remarried less than five years, who are single, or gay. All of these restrictions reflect (some would argue traditional) Chinese values, and seem to be a reaction to "losing" their "national treasure" of women to other cultures of the world.

...of course, it's hard to not add the appendage, "you know, the cultures that want them."

Anyhow, I don't think this effort is going to do much good - either the new adoption rules, or the abortion drug ban. China needs to change its values through dialogue, not law. Until people value the female daughters they have (not the ones other people have), no amount of rules is going to change the predicted imbalance of their future society. (And given that population data shows that the social-we heads off to war when there are many more men than women, in a thin-the-herd sort of deal, it's something that should concern the world.)

Whoa - ranty this morning! ;)