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September 1, 1989

China and Population Control

Author Affiliations

Wichita, Kan

Wichita, Kan

JAMA. 1989;262(9):1187. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430090048026

To the Editor. —  I am writing to respond to the article by Dr Ma1 entitled "One Child, One Family."Dr Ma, who we are told is an International Fellow in Medical Journalism, has presented a whitewashed apology for China's population control efforts that cannot go unchallenged.Dr Ma tells us that the one-child policy is "voluntary," that the government "encourages" this policy, and that abortion is "available." We are meant to infer that there is in place a policy that, much like in the United States, is there for those who want to use it but is not forced on anyone. Nothing could be further from the truth.Kubek2 documented that forced abortion is part and parcel of China's population policies. Between 1971 and 1984, China's state-run abortion clinics performed 114 million abortions. He relates, using official state statistics, the infanticide of 1.3 million female infants during the