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China Reconsidering One-Child Policy

China is considering incrementally changing its strict family-planning policies. The world's most populous country has restricted most families to one child for three decades. Today, it implements the policy using harsh fines, but during the 1980s, Chinese routinely underwent forced abortions and sterilization procedures. Chinese officials believe the policy has prevented 400 million births, and allowed China to prosper and preserve its resources.

But now a demographic crisis awaits China's urban centers. With aging populations, cities already are experiencing labor shortages. The gender imbalance — Chinese have more boys as a result of selective abortion — also troubles the county. A gradual shift in policy, such as the shift in Shanghai, may be in order. Now, Shanghai allows couples to have two children, if both partners have no siblings.

Do you think that China's family planning regulations offend the freedom to reproduce, a human right? Or, is this more of an environmental issue? With a population in China of 1.3 billion, could China, and the world sustain another 400 million people and counting?

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