05/07/2015, 00.00
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One-child in China: two stories with a happy ending

US human rights activist Reggie Littlejohn tells AsiaNews how Women's Rights Without Frontiers managed to save two women and their children.

Beijing (AsiaNews) – Amid China’s many stories of selective abortions and forced sterilisations due to its one-child policy, AsiaNews has found a couple with a happy ending. All the credit goes to Reggie Littlejohn, a US lawyer, and her organisation, Women's Rights Without Frontiers, which have been active for years in the country.

The two women involved (anonymous for security reasons) were able to keep their babies thanks to the ‘Save a girl’ campaign conducted by the association in China.

Last week the human rights activist testified before the Executive Commission on China of the US Congress. As a result of the one-child policy, 400 million girls were not born in China.

In one case in 2014, Women's Rights Without Frontiers managed to save twins. Their mother was seven months pregnant when she went through an ultrasound to find out about the foetus’ sex.

In addition to finding out that there were two, she was shocked to learn that they were girls.

At that point, her family began pressuring her to have an abortion. But she would have none of that.

Uncertain about what to do, she met one day with activists from Littlejohn’s association who knocked at her door.

They talked to her about the Save a girl campaign, which entails giving the mother a monthly salary for a year – double that amount in her case. This gave her the strength to go against her husband and family.

A year earlier, shortly after the launch of the campaign in 2013, the association had similar success.

After undergoing ultrasound, a woman discovered that she was pregnant with a girl.

She had made up her mind to have an abortion when she was contacted by the association who convinced her to have the baby. When the child was born, she found out that that it was a boy.

In the past few years, opposition to China’s one-child policy has grown, especially because of the economic consequences related to the country’s family planning policy.

Chinese demographers are in fact concerned that the labour force will shrink by 10 million a year until 2025. By 2030, there will be 360 ​​million senior citizens compared to 200 million in 2013.

If birth controls remain in place, there will be fewer workers, less tax revenue, and higher costs to take care of the elderly. (GM)

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