Child Limits

America is known as being the “land of freedom”, where we’re able to do pretty much whatever we want, as long as it’s not harmful to another human being. So, the thought of putting limits on the number of children we can bear sounds unlawful. But, there are countries in the world that have done this.

This government sign in China reads "Please, for the sake of your country, use birth control."

In an effort to control its overwhelming population, China has put into place a “FamilyPlanning Policy”. This policy (introduced in 1979) restricts married couples who live in cities to having only one child. Exceptions to this policy are made for ethnic minorities and couples who live in rural areas. Also, parents whose first child is a girl, can apply to have a second child. That being said, about 36% of China’s population is subject to this policy. It’s said that the policy will stay in place until 2018.

However, this policy has had some negative side effects: About.com Guide Matt Rosenberg discusses how this rule has caused contempt for baby girls. This also unfortunately means that many duaghters are aborted, are subject to infanticide, or are abandoned/put up for adoption.

Rwanda officials are now pushing for a three-child limit on  its citizens because the current rate of six to seven children a woman is taking a toll on the already dwindling water supply. This iscreasing demand on the lacking water supply could create further political tensions. The same goes for Uganda. Its population is predicted to increase at the same rate as Rwanda’s.

Here in the states we don’t ever really have to go without anything. That being said, could you imagine what it would be like if you were told you had a limit on how many children you could bear? As members of large families, can you picture how drastically different our lives would be if we were reduced to such a small unit?

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About Sarah Cordonier

I am a junior Television Journalism and International Studies Major at West Virginia University. I am currently taking Beginning Television Reporting and I plan on taking Advanced Television Reporting in the Spring, as a member of WVU News. Someday I would like to work abroad, as an overseas reporter.
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