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Do you remember when you first heard about the Chinese government’s one-child policy? It sounded so foreign, so crazy, so grotesque. Here the Communist Party was deciding how many children people were allowed to have. There was state monitoring of pregnancy. There was forced sterilization. There was infanticide at scale. To the Western mind, the whole thing was repugnant and alien, but maybe the most un-American thing about the Chinese one-child policy was the policy itself. The idea that government could insert itself into the most intimate details of your private life struck most Americans at a gut level as incomprehensible. The whole point of America was to avoid plans like that.
The whole point of America was personal freedom. That’s why the country was founded. What you do in private, on your own time with your own money, within the boundaries of the law, was your own business and nobody else’s business. It was a foundational point and, on that question, there appeared to be, thank God, bipartisan agreement. Conservatives believed in the Bill of Rights. Liberals believed in personal choice. “My body, my choice,” they said. “Government out of our personal