China May Drop 1-Baby Law

Officials want more girls, but fear triggering baby boom
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 29, 2008 7:32 AM CST
Parents perform yoga exercises with their babies at a yoga center in Xiamen, in southeast China's Fujian province. China is considering changing laws limiting most urban couples to one child and rural...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – China, faced with an aging population and too few women, may end its controversial one- child-per-family policy. The law that allowed urban couples only one child and rural families two is credited with preventing 400 million births over three decades. But cultural preferences for males has also created a troubling gender imbalance as millions of female fetuses have been aborted, reports the Guardian.

Officials are concerned, however, that lifting rules could create a "free for all," said one observer. Beijing officials are adamant that some controls must stay in place. "This has really become a big issue among decision makers," said a family planning official. "We want to have a transition from control to relaxation incrementally."