UN Population Fund’s (UNFPA) 30 Year Complicity in Crimes Against Women and Children in China
Editor’s note. The following are remarks by Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) during a voting session of Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives on H.R. 2059. This is an NRLC-backed bill, authored by Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC), to cut off U.S. funds to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), a UN agency that is deeply involved in China’s coercive population-control program, which relies heavily on compulsory abortion. The bill was subsequently approved by the committee, 23-17.
John Negroponte, Deputy Secretary of State, stated in a June 26, 2008 State Department determination denying U.S. funds to the UNFPA that “all UNFPA programming related to contraception and reproductive health incorporates, and defers to, Chinese law and regulation. The national law and the provincial regulations are a framework for China’s coercive birth policies.” (emphasis added)
I strongly support H.R. 2059 sponsored by Renee Ellmers and thank her for standing up for the women and children in China. China’s one child policy is state sponsored cruelty and constitutes massive crimes against humanity. The Nuremberg Nazi war crimes tribunal properly construed forced abortion as a crime against humanity—nothing in human history compares to the magnitude of China’s 32 year assault on women and children.
Since 1979, brothers and sisters have been illegal in most of China. If a woman is caught pregnant without explicit government authorization to give birth, she is forced to abort. Unwed mothers are all compelled to abort. Handicapped unborn children, if discovered, are killed by the state. Ruinous fines—up to ten times the combined salary of both parents—jail, torture, property confiscation, loss of employment, education opportunities, housing and health care are all weapons aggressively used by the family planning cadres to ensure compliance.
No wonder over 500 Chinese women commit suicide each day in China.
Today in China, rather than being given maternal care, pregnant women without birth allowed permits are hunted down and forcibly aborted. They are mocked, belittled and humiliated. There are no single moms in China—except those who somehow evade the family planning cadres and conceal their pregnancy. For three decades, brothers and sisters have been illegal; a mother has absolutely no right to protect her unborn baby or herself from state sponsored violence.
Twenty seven years ago—on May 9, 1984—I authored the first amendment ever to a foreign aid bill to deny funding to organizations such as the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) that are complicit with China’s forced abortion and involuntary sterilization policy. After all these years, it is amazing and disheartening to me that many policy makers—including and especially the Obama Administration—remain indifferent or worse, supportive, of these massive crimes against women and children. The Obama Administration has long enabled this cruel policy by its silence and financial support to the tune of $50 million a year to the UNFPA, an organization that supports, plans, implements, defends and whitewashes the Chinese government’s brutal program.
On one of several trips to Beijing, I challenged Peng Peiyun—then China’s director of the nation’s population control program—to end the coercion, we had quite a debate. Madame Peng told me that the UNFPA was very supportive of the one child per couple program and that the UNFPA adamantly agrees with her that the program is voluntary and that coercion doesn’t exist. In other words, I —we—are simply making it all up.
For over 30 years, the UNFPA has consistently heaped praise on China’s population control program and repeatedly urged other countries to embrace similar policies.
Compelled by Chinese law and provincial regulations the one child per couple policy is the most egregious systematic attack on mothers ever. Yet the UNPFA incorporates and defers to that policy in its programs
Over the years I have chaired 30 congressional human rights hearings focused in whole or in part on China’s one child policy. At one, the principal witness, Wuijan, a Chinese student attending a US university testified about how her child was forcibly murdered by the government. She said, “[T]he room was full of moms who had just gone through a forced abortion. Some moms were crying. Some moms were mourning. Some moms were screaming. And one mom was rolling on the floor with unbearable pain.” Then Wuijan said it was her turn, and through her tears she described what she called her “journey in hell.”
Two weeks ago, I chaired another hearing entitled: China’s One-Child Policy: The Government’s Massive Crime Against Women and Unborn Babies.
Chai Ling the famous Tiananmen Square pro-democracy student activist and founder of All Girls Allowed (www.allgirlsallowed.org/) testified and condemned gendercide—the deliberate extermination of a girl—born or unborn—simply because she happens to be female.
Chai Ling revealed at the hearing and in her just released book “A Heart for Freedom” that she was forced to undergo three abortions—the first time, as a 18-year-old sophomore at Peking University.
She said she was touched to the core by Wuijan’s testimony, which caused a flashback to her own forced abortions.
“I was not prepared for her testimony. I felt the pain and helplessness of Tiananmen when the tanks moved in on us. I felt the pain and helplessness of that horrible afternoon on the operating table when they performed the abortion on me without anesthesia.”
Chai Ling said, “most married couples are not allowed to have more than one child and of course, unmarried women in China are not allowed to have babies at all The tragic equation for millions of unmarried women, especially those too young to wed is: ‘No marriage certificate, no birth permit. No birth permit, no baby.’”
Another brave Chinese woman, Yequing Ji, testified on September 22, 2011, that “I told them that I wanted another child and we were prepared to pay the fines. Li stated that Chinese law decreed that the second child was forbidden. Even if it was born, the child could not be registered and would not be able to attend school. More than the fines, we would be fired from our jobs with a child that would never be registered by the census
“Li then ordered the other agents to bring me to the hospital for an abortion. They surrounded us. Li and two others grabbed me by the arm and dragged me outside. Two others stopped my husband Liu Bin from rescuing me and beat him. I begged them to spare us. We only wanted another baby and never wanted to do anything evil…
“They dragged me down from the fourth floor into a waiting car, drove into the Jiading Women and Children’s Clinic, and pulled me directly into the operating room. They held me down in a bed and sedated me. The abortion was performed while I was unconscious
“For a long time, whenever I thought about my lost child, I would cry.”
Ping Liu also testified, saying, “women who gave birth were required to have intrauterine devices (IUD’s) implanted
“Workers monitored each other. Women of reproductive age accounted for 60% of my factory floor. Colleagues were suspicious and hostile to each other because of the One-Child Policy. Two of my pregnancies were reported by my colleagues to the Family Planning Commission. When discovered, pregnant women would be dragged to undergo forced abortions—there simply was no other choice. We had no dignity as potential child-bearers. By order of the factory’s Family Planning Commission, every month during their menstrual period, women had to undress in front of the birth planning doctor for examination…
“The day of my fifth and last abortion…was the saddest of my life. Because I was unable to prove that I wasn’t pregnant within the 10-15 day time period, the birth planning doctor in the factory clinic found out about my pregnancy. That day, officials from the factory Family Planning Commission drove to the City Police Hospital and forced me to have an abortion in the Birth Planning Department…
“Afterwards, I learned that my husband had been sentenced to criminal detention without a trial for violating and obstructing the One-Child Policy…
“My body suffered great damage from all the forced abortions.”
As a result of the Chinese government’s barbaric attack on mothers and their children, there are some 100 million more males than females in China today, prompting Ling to say that the three most dangerous words in China today are: it’s a girl!
1 Population and Family Planning Regulations (2002) of Anhui Province, Article 27; Fujian Province, Articles 17 and 18; Henan Province, Article 25; and Hunan Province, Article 22).
2 Population and Family Planning Regulations of Fujian Province (2002), Article 17.
3 Congressional-Executive Commission on China, 2009, Annual Report, 151-160. See Population and Family Planning Regulations (2002) of Anhui, Article 47; Beijing, Article 39; Fujian, Article 39; Henan, Articles 37 and 38; Hunan, Article 42; Zhejiang, Articles 35 and 48. 2
4 World Health Organization (Online), “Suicide Rates per 100,000 by Country, Year and Sex (Table),” 2008 (www.who.int/mental_health/prevention/suicide_rates/en/index.html).