This comes under the category of: “Come and see what God has done: He is awesome in His deeds…” (Ps. 66:5). A country notorious for forced sterilizations and abortions and government-mandated infanticide has just announced they are now putting restrictions on abortion.
For 36 years China enforced a One Child Policy by tearing unborn babies out of their mothers’ wombs. But then the Chinese government began to realize their policy would leave a single child supporting 2 parents and 4 grandparents, without help from siblings, uncles, aunts, or cousins, because none of them would ever have existed. China’s policy left an aging populace supported by a shrinking workforce.
That may be why the policy wasn’t universally enforced across the country. But from 1979 when it was first implemented, to 2015 when it was changed, the birthrate per woman dropped from 2.7 to 1.7. A replacement birthrate – one that keeps the population at the same size – is 2.1, with the two children there to take the place of their two parents (the .1 is there to account for childhood deaths.)
But since the One Child Policy was expanded to a Two Child Policy in 2015, China’s birthrate, after inching up slightly right afterward, has been declining for the last four years to 1.3.
Thus the Chinese government’s newly announced restrictions on abortion.
There’s nothing repentant about this pro-life turn – this is the same utilitarian ethic that motivated their One Child Policy. They wanted to slow their population then, so they killed babies; they want a growing population now, so they are saving babies. It’s all about effective management of their population and their economy. But in this one area, their policies have switched from defiance to God’s revealed will – children being a blessing, not a curse (Ps. 127:3) – to being much more in accord with it (Gen. 9:6). It may be too late for them to halt their demographic decline, but there will still be fruit from this pro-life turn. The God who spoke all into being defines reality, and there is a benefit in aligning with His reality, rather than trying to run headlong against it.
We can be rightfully ashamed (and fearful) that this leaves Canada along with Vietnam and North Korea as the only countries with unfettered abortion. But we can also celebrate that in China, and Texas, and other places around the world, there are governments aligning themselves with reality by beginning to protect unborn children like the blessings they are.