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The abolition of China's 35-year-old one-child policy closes one of the darkest chapters in the country's history.As for the one-child policy, data released by China's Health Ministry in 2013 indicate that from 1971 to 2012, 336 million abortions – more than the entire U.S. population – were carried out in registered facilities alone.The National Health and Family Planning Commission, the government agency responsible for enforcing the one-child policy, reports an even higher figure: more than 13 million surgical abortions each year – a figure that does not include abortions induced by drugs or carried out in unregistered private clinics.So it is reasonable to estimate that as many as half of China's abortions – some 6.5 million registered surgical abortions, plus untold numbers of drug-induced or unregistered abortions, per year – are attributable to the one-child policy.Indeed, these figures – however shocking – do not capture the human suffering or the harsh economic consequences brought about by the one-child policy.Now is the time to recognize those consequences, particularly given that China's leaders are not done limiting their citizens' reproductive choices. On the contrary, they are simply moving from a one-child policy to a two-child policy.
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