Chen Guangchen: Forced Abortion “tramples… on the sacred right to life”

Editor’s note. The following comes from PNCI—The Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues.

Chen Guangcheng

Chen Guangcheng

Chen Guangchen, blind Chinese human rights lawyer and advocate for women forcibly aborted by enforcement of China’s one-child population control policy, spoke at Princeton University yesterday where he called for assistance to end “China’s evil one-child policy” and forced abortion.

During his presentation “China and the World in the 21st Century: The Next Human Rights Revolution,” Mr. Chen spoke with passion against the barbaric practice that brutalizes women through forced abortion and condemned the practice that “tramples on women’s rights, the right of free choice, and also the sacred right of life,” referencing the second victim of forced abortion, the child.

The dire consequences of the one-child policy–“severe imbalance in gender ratio and a rapidly aging population”–were mentioned by Mr. Chen in his forceful remarks against the population control policy.

A passionate plea to the American people was issued to “take actions to urge the officials and congressmen you voted into office to apply all resources and means to help terminate China’s evil one-child policy and forcible abortion because forcing women to abort their babies is a violation of universal human rights.”

Recognizing the critical role of lawmakers around the world in addressing the human rights violations of women and children in China, Chen recommended the establishment of “a trans-congressional human rights alliance of free countries” which he suggested could “convene regularly and invite civilians, human rights defenders, victims, their families and authorized agents to share their stories.”

He also suggested the use of social media to contact elected officials including text messaging, twitter, and Facebook to urge actions against the human rights violations inherent in the one-child policy and forced abortion.

During the event co-sponsored by The Witherspoon Institute and the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, the Chinese totalitarian regime was criticized by Chen for failing to carry out reforms while using force to maintain stability and in the process making a joke of the rule of law and justice.

Chen urged the U.S. government, and governments of democratic countries around the world, to shift focus from economic issues and trade to human rights, “from price to value” and pleaded for “kind-hearted American people from all walks of life” to “stand on the side of justice” and choose “to stand by the Chinese people instead of the Chinese Communist officials, and support the Chinese people in getting back the rights that originally belonged to them.”

The need to remember and advocate for imprisoned human rights defenders was urged by Chen as well as the interconnectedness of nations when dealing with human rights violations and that injustice anywhere affects the struggle for justice everywhere:

“When dealing with a government practicing violence and deception, if you don’t try to influence it with your universal values, such as freedom, equality, democracy, and constitutionalism, you are very likely to be affected by the wickedness of this government, and as a result of such insidious erosion, your heart becomes distorted, and you start to set limits for yourself and give up your principles. It is evident that the humanitarian and human rights issues that happen in any part of the world will invade and become the content of our lives, and may even directly affect our lives.”

Chen Guangchen, now a Distinguished Senior Fellow in Human Rights at the Witherspoon Institute, a Distinguished Visiting Fellow of the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies at Catholic University of America, and a Senior Distinguished Advisor of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights & Justice ended his remarks by linking current defense of human rights with future generations: “Caring for and supporting human rights is caring for and supporting ourselves, our children, and the generations to come.”

PNCI expresses a sincere thank you to Chen Guangchen for his continued bold opposition to China’s brutal one-child per couple population control policy and for his dedication to stopping the victimization of women and children through forced abortion.