Vice President Biden is under fire for comments he made in China about that nation's controversial one-child policy.
Fox News reports that Biden was talking about the U.S. budget deficit in Chengdu on Sunday when he said China is facing a looming budget problem of its own. He said China's policy of allowing couples in cities to have only one child means the nation's social security-type system could face shortfalls in the future.
"You have no safety net. Your policy has been one which I fully understand -- I'm not second-guessing -- of one child per family," Biden said, according to the official transcript of the event. "The result being that you're in a position where one wage earner will be taking care of four retired people. Not sustainable."
Conservatives have taken that to mean that Biden approves of the policy.
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The pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List wrote on its blog:
"Really, Mr. Vice President? You're not second-guessing a policy that has resulted in untold numbers of forced abortions, forced sterilizations, outrageous fines or even jail time for families that dare to defy the law, and a gender imbalance crisis?"
It is said to be a common practice in China for couples to abort girls in a quest to have a boy as their only child.
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney was similarly outraged, calling the policy "gruesome and barbaric."
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"Vice President Biden's acquiescence to such a policy should shock the conscience of every American. Instead of condoning the policy, Vice President Biden should have condemned it in the strongest possible terms," he said in a statement.
China introduced the one-child policy in 1978 in an attempt to curb population growth. It does not apply in rural areas. Couples in cities face severe fines for breaking the law.