Sterilization quotas are still a common population control technique in the area where, earlier this month, a father of four said he was forced to undergo a vasectomy.
On Feb. 14, the Health and Family Planning Commission of Yunnan Province directed local authorities to investigate the case, which took place in Zhenxiong County, in China’s southwest. But one current and one former village leader in the area have told Sixth Tone that such operations — though not necessarily carried out under coercion — are commonplace.
According to the local leaders, the county government gives villages annual sterilization quotas for residents, based on the number of women of childbearing age in each village. In the past, any woman who had given birth was eligible to have herself or her husband chosen to undergo sterilization to meet the village’s target. Since the two-child policy came into effect in January 2016, it now takes two births to get your name on the list.