Monday, September 30, 2013

Forcing abortions ignites national outrage

Major effort to repeal law punishing families for having more than one child
In 2012, Pan Chunyan was abducted and forced to abort her eight month old baby. Photo Credit: Sim Chi Yin for The New York Times.

Here's a story by Edward Wong that talks about China's big revenue source because of their family planning law that collects billions in fines from policy violations.

The country's family planning officials are accused by parents of abducting babies who are considered "extra" children in a household as well as selling them to orphanages sometimes for $3,000 per baby. In result, the family planning regulations are prone to abuse since local officials are often evaluated by their superiors based on how well they control population in their areas.

The National Audit Office published a report on the collection and spending of the "social support fee" after it reviewed nine provinces in China. It found that there were no uniform standards for collecting the fees and that management of the fees was poor.
BEIJING — Nineteen province-level governments in China collected a total of $2.7 billion in fines last year from parents who had violated family planning laws, which usually limit couples to one child, a lawyer who had requested the data said Thursday.

The lawyer, Wu Youshui of Zhejiang Province, sent letters in July to 31 provincial governments asking officials to disclose how much they had collected in 2012 in family planning fines, referred to as “social support fees.” He said he suspected that the fines were a substantial source of revenue for governments in poor parts of China. 

“We want to shed light on how the current family planning policy works,” Mr. Wu said via telephone. “Many are debating reform of the family planning policy. Learning how it works may help with that debate.”
For full story, see The New York Times website.

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