China’s one-child policy, now reportedly ended, is one of the great tragedies of our time. Not everyone sees it that way, of course. Some, from the safety of a free society, celebrate forced population control as a reasonable reaction to their environmental fears. They easily overlook the policy’s malignant methods and effects, such as hundreds of millions of babies aborted (many by force), men and women coerced into being sterilized, and years of gendercide resulting in a wildly skewed sex ratio. Add to that the abandonment of many thousands of baby girls and children with birth defects, all of them stuffed into crowded orphanages with almost no chance of adoption.

As I write these words, one of the policy’s victims is sitting on the couch behind me, eating goldfish crackers from a plastic cup and reading “Little House on the Prairie.” She’s the youngest of my five children: a delightful eight-year-old girl with silky black hair in braids, wearing a plaid Catholic-school uniform, and cheerfully kicking the arm of the couch repeatedly with her scuffed Mary Janes.

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