China’s population control measure “One Child Nation” on PBS’S INDEPENDENT LENS, May 23 at 10 p.m.

Traveling from village to village, she sterilized women and performed abortions, often on women who resisted and had to be caught and subdued. But, “If I could go back in time, I would do it again,” she says in the film.

Many of the thousands of unwanted children born during the era of the one-child policy were abandoned, left in baskets by the roadside or in the market, and some were sold to orphanages by the through an impromptu nationwide human trafficking ring. Wang speaks with a journalist who uncovered this widespread corruption and with the founders of Research China, an organization whose mission is to reunite these abandoned, then adopted children with their families in China through DNA testing.

Chinese adoption agencies find abandoned baby announcements.

A common theme emerges throughout the documentary as Wang travels through villages in China, speaking with families whose babies have been taken from them because of the brutal politics: they had no choice. Says Wang in the film, “When every major decision in life is made for you, it’s hard to feel responsible for the consequences.”

Commissioned and co-produced by ITVS as part of its Series and Special Projects Funding Initiative, One Child Nation also received five Critics Choice Documentary Award nominations, including Best Documentary Feature.

“Much of my understanding of my rights as a woman has been influenced by powerful government propaganda,” Wang said. “I am grateful for the film’s success so far in educating not only Chinese audiences, but also audiences around the world about the truth behind this policy, the corruption involved and its ongoing repercussions on society. Public television has the power to bring these stories to smaller communities across the United States that might not otherwise have the opportunity to hear them; my hope for our first broadcast is that it will help audiences everywhere understand what happens when you take away a woman’s choice and remind them to always question the agenda of those in power.

Visit the The One Child Nation page on Independent Lens, which has more information about the film.