Don’t Hold Your Breath on China’s Vow to ‘Crack down” on Sex-Selective Abortions

By Dave Andrusko

That’s the advice of Reggie Littlejohn, President, Women’s Rights Without Frontiers. She was responding to a report (through its official government news agency and then given worldwide circulation by the Associated Press) that “China is vowing to harshly crack down on sex-selective abortion for non-medical purposes in order to balance sex ratio in a country that traditionally holds that male heirs can ensure their families’ bloodline is preserved, according to a government plan released Monday.”

Well, according to Littlejohn, been there, heard that, nothing done.

In a media advisory sent out this week, Littlejohn quotes from a 2004 BBC News article. “Zhao Baige, then Deputy Director (now Vice Minister) of China’s National Population and Family Planning Commission, vowed seven years ago: ‘Illegal sex determination and sex-selective abortion must be strictly banned . . . China has set the goal of lowering the sex ratio to a normal level by 2010.’”

But, in fact, the gender gap has widened, not narrowed. Seven years ago 117 boys were born for every 100 girls. Now it’s 119 boys for every 100 girls.

“Same government. Same vow. Should we expect a different result,” she asks.

Littlejohn also reminds us that “We remember Zhao from the 2009 Copenhagen climate summit” where  she stated

“The [Chinese One Child] policy on family planning proves to be a great success. It not only contributes to reduction of global emission, but also provides experiences for other countries — developing countries in particular — in their pursuit for a coordinated and sustainable development.

“Zhao’s statement inspired a spate of articles extolling Chinese-style population control to combat global warming,” Littlejohn writes.

She concludes,

Make no mistake. China’s One Child Policy is enforced through forced abortion, forced sterilization and infanticide. Women are dragged out of their homes, strapped to tables, and forced to abort babies they want, up to the ninth month of pregnancy. Women sometimes die during these violent procedures. The One Child Policy is China’s war on women. Adopting it worldwide would hurl women’s rights back to the dark ages.

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