No Abortion Debate in China: Institutionalized Misogyny Killed Millions of Baby Girls, Leaving 30 Million Men Wifeless

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Abortion is front and center in American news these days. As Americans figure out what the recent Supreme Court ruling against Roe v. Wade means for abortion access for women in each state, we mourn for the hundreds of millions of women in China who the Chinese Communist Party forced to have abortions against their will and the girl babies in China who have been killed just for being female.

The Chinese Communist Party’s draconian one-child policy, which lasted until 2016, had unexpected consequences. Since male offspring are more valued in China than female, women who found out they were having a girl often sought out abortions.

Male children are seen as continuing the family line, while girls become part of their husband’s family upon marriage, so having a female only child was perceived as a dead end for the family.

As hard as it is to believe, forced by the CCP under the strict one-child policy, doctors also committed infanticide of Chinese baby girls after they were born. Indeed, we have reports of babies being suffocated to death or drowned. Again, these would mostly be girls.

Finally, many Chinese girls were adopted out to Western families so native Chinese could try again to conceive a boy child. The 1990s saw a flood of Chinese girls up for adoption for Westerners who wanted children but could not conceive on their own.

While these children, who are young adults now, brought tremendous happiness to their adopted families, it is also a source of great sadness to many to see so many unwanted baby girls.

Males Outnumber Females by 30 Million

These misogynistic practices have led to a gender imbalance in modern day China. For the generations born during the one-child policy, there are six males for every five females. As the Global Times reported in 2020, today there are 30 million more men in China than women.

By Joe Wang and Jennifer Margulis

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