By continuing to browse our site, you are consenting to the use of cookies. Click here for more information on the cookies we use.


Defending life
from conception to natural death


One-child policy causing demographic crisis

24 August 2007

China's one-child policy is reportedly resulting in an increasing number of elderly people and not enough young people to support them. A BBC news item focuses on individuals such as 20-year-old Wang Dan, a factory worker, who sends her salary home to support her parents and grandmother. The report concludes: "China may be forging ahead as a world power. But it is also beginning to face the long-term logic of its one-child policy - too many old people and not enough young people. In other words, fewer workers supporting more and more elderly relatives... In the next few decades, this burden will get heavier and heavier. China will have 400 million elderly people. Who is going to feed them all?" [BBC, 23 August] The wife of Chen Guangcheng, the blind Chinese lawyer imprisoned after exposing forced abortions carried out under the one-child policy, has been prevented from leaving the country to collect a human rights award on his behalf. Mrs Yuan Weijing had planned to go to the Philippines to collect an award from the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation, who named Chen as one of their seven winners this year because of his "irrepressible passion for justice in leading ordinary Chinese citizens to assert their legitimate rights under the law". Friends reported that she was detained by police at the airport, who claimed that her passport was invalid. [Reuters on Scotsman, 24 August]

The Catholic bishops of Guatemala have rejected a post-abortion care initiative by the Ministry of Health which could act as a gateway to carrying out further abortions. The initiative would train medical personnel to use suction machines on women in a "post-abortion situation," something that the bishops warn is only a step away from performing actual abortions. The bishops' conference said: "We agree that the best care possible should be given to women who have gone through such a situation, but not by suctioning the uterus in order to implant an intra-uterine device afterwards, as health officials are promoting." [Lifesite, 23 August]

The Czech parliament is to consider a bill legalising assisted suicide but is thought to be unlikely to pass it. Mr Boris Stastny, the deputy leader of the Civic Democrats, has announced that he will bring forward a bill that would legalise physician assisted suicide for "incurable patients". 92 of 186 members of the Chamber of Deputies reportedly said that they did not want physician assisted suicide to be made legal while 60 supported legalisation. [Lifesite, 23 August]

A pair of British twins have survived after being born at only 25 weeks. Erin and Cora Trott weighed 21 and 18 ounces respectively when they were born and were delivered by emergency Caesarean after it was discovered that they were locked together chin to chin, meaning that one of them was unable to breathe. They later also had to undergo treatment for heart problems. The twins are now seven months old and are doing well. Mr Chris Trott, their father, said: "Their development will have to be carefully monitored but they're basically fit and healthy and we feel so lucky. We had fantastic care in both hospitals." [Gloucestershire Gazette, 23 August]

A baby who was born prematurely on a plane at 30,000 feet is safe and well at home with his parents. Mrs Nicola Delemere, 31, started having contractions on her way from England to a holiday in Crete, Greece, with her husband. Although the plane was diverted as soon as the waters broke, the baby was born before it could land. A flight supervisor, Ms Carol Miller, helped to deliver the baby and then cleared his lungs with a drinking straw and carried out mouth to mouth resuscitation and heart massage. [Daily Mail, 24 August]

Rapidly increasing levels of obesity are expected to cause an infertility crisis in the western world, according to doctors. Experts writing in the Lancet medical journal warned that obesity exacerbates polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a common fertility disorder which affects one in 15 women worldwide. Professor Bill Ledger, professor of obstetrics at the University of Sheffield, said: "Given the rise in obesity incidence, it's common sense to expect a rise in subfertility. Prescriptions for drugs which help women with PCOS get pregnant are going up. It's a common problem, but the biggest thing is to tackle obesity. It's a problem that needs to be dealt with in lifestyle changes rather than through surgery. Losing weight will help women with PCOS get pregnant." [Guardian, 24 August]

Be the first to comment!

Share this article