In addition to being forced to abort her baby, a mother might also be forcibly sterilized or implanted with an intrauterine device (IUD). After a second child, a mother would then be coerced into undergoing sterilization or IUD implantation. The IUDs were made of steel with no way for a woman to remove it herself.
The Communist Party is proud of its efforts to reduce the future population of China, boasting that the policy prevented up to 400 million births. (This number has since been disputed by a number of researchers.) If a woman was found to be pregnant with her second child, she would most often be coerced into having an abortion. Abortions during any term of the pregnancy are legal in China. Sometimes, if the woman refused to undergo an abortion, she was kidnapped and the child forcibly aborted. In some cases of the mother’s refusal, family members would be imprisoned until she decided to undergo abortion.
Parents wanting to have children had to apply for a birth permit for the child. Without the birth permit, the child was “out-of-plan.” Out-of-plan children included those above the limit of one child, children of unwed couples, and, later on in the policy, children born without the required amount of time between births (four years). These out-of-plan children had trouble obtaining a hukou, or official registration. Without the hukou, the children did not legally exist, therefore, they have been named “black children.” They held no rights and were denied vaccinations, school, and any type of welfare. Being a “black child” also affected the children psychologically.
Beginning in 1980, a society-changing policy began to be enforced in China. This policy, dubbed the One-Child Policy, limited all families in China to having one child only. The policy was more strictly enforced in urban areas of the large country. As the years passed, the policy was rewritten to allow certain families two children in certain cases. Throughout the thirty-five years of the policy, brutal acts of punishment and enforcement were enacted upon the Chinese people. From stealing and selling children to forcing late-term abortions, the Chinese Communist Party was ruthless in forcing the policy upon its people.