Recent Case of Forced Abortion at Seven Months of Feng Jianmei Sparks Global Outrage

Hearing Focuses on China’s brutal One-Child Policy

Reggie Littlejohn, President, Women’s Rights Without Frontiers

WASHINGTON, D.C.–China’s brutal one-child policy was the topic of a hearing held by Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) Monday. The Chinese government has recently come under international criticism following the highly publicized media accounts of a forced abortion performed on Feng Jianmei, who was seven months pregnant.

“Today in China, rather than being given maternal care, pregnant women without birth permits are hunted down and forcibly aborted,” Smith said at the hearing. “They are mocked, belittled and humiliated. In recent days, the exploitation and forced abortion at seven months of Feng Jianmei has sparked global outrage—and deep concern for her welfare and that of the women of China.While Feng remains in a hospital—she calls it a prison—her husband, Deng, has been beaten. Feng’s gross mistreatment however is far too commonplace.” Click here to read Smith’s opening remarks.

Smith said the Nuremberg Nazi war crimes tribunal construed forced abortion as a crime against humanity— and that nothing in human history compares to the magnitude of China’s 33 year assault on women and children. He noted in early July, the European Parliament “strongly condemned” China’s one-child and forced abortion policy. Also, The Wall Street Journal on July 6th reported that a group of prominent Chinese scholars issued an open letter last Thursday calling for reconsideration of the country’s one-child policy. The group argued that the policy in its current form is incompatible with China’s increasing respect for human rights and need for sustainable economic development. The letter comes less than a month after Feng story ignited public anger.

Steven W. Mosher

The hearing, entitled, “Continued Human Rights Attacks on Families in China,” featured human rights leaders at an open hearing of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights. Witnesses included:

Pastor Bob Fu, Founder and President, ChinaAid Association

Reggie Littlejohn, Founder and President, Women’s Rights Without Frontiers

Steven Mosher, President, Population Research Institute

Yanling Guo, Victim of China’s population control policies

T. Kumar, Director of International Advocacy, Amnesty International

Click here to read the witnesses statements.

The price for failing to conform to the one-child-per-couple policy is staggering. A Chinese woman who becomes pregnant without a permit will be put under heavy pressure to abort. “Out-of-plan” illegal children are denied education, health-care, and marriage, and fines for bearing a child without a permit can be 10 times the average annual income of two parents. Those families that can’t or won’t pay are jailed, or their homes destroyed, or their young child is killed. If the woman still refuses to submit, she may be held in a cell, or, if she flees, her relatives may be held and beaten. Group punishments will be used to socially ostracize her—her colleagues and neighbors denied birth permits. If the woman still resists, she may be physically dragged to the operating table and forced to undergo an abortion.

“This is the grim reality of the one-child-per-couple policy. As we have known for three decades, there are no single moms in China—except those who somehow evade the family planning cadres and conceal their pregnancy,” Smith said. “For over three decades, brothers and sisters have been illegal; a mother has absolutely no right to protect her unborn baby from state sponsored violence.”