Forced Abortion in China Will Continue, Despite “Easing” of One Child Policy

Reggie Littlejohn, speaking at a Capitol Hill press conference on Chinese human rights. (Photo credit: Reuters.)

Reggie Littlejohn, speaking at a Capitol Hill press conference on Chinese human rights. (Photo credit: Reuters.)

Under the misleading headline, “China to Ease One-Child Policy,” Xinhua (the official press agency of the Chinese Communist Party) reports that China will now lift the ban on a second child, if either parent is an only child.

But this minor reform will not “ease” the One Child Policy.  It will merely tweak it.

All the reasons for this adjustment are economic or demographic:  China’s dwindling labor force, the country’s growing elderly population, and the severe gender imbalance.  Completely absent from the discussion is the issue of human rights violations.  China has not promised to end forced abortion or forced sterilization. The coercive enforcement of China’s One Child Policy is its core.

 

Reggie Littlejohn, President of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, stated:

“While we are glad for the second babies who will be born under this adjustment, instituting a two-child policy in certain, limited circumstances will not end forced abortion or forced sterilization. The problem with the One Child Policy is not the number of children “allowed.”  Rather, it is the fact that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is telling women how many children they can have and then enforcing that limit through forced abortion, forced sterilization and infanticide. Even if all couples were allowed two children, there is no guarantee that the CCP will cease their appalling methods of enforcement.  Regardless of the number of children allowed, women who get pregnant without permission will still be dragged out of their homes, strapped down to tables and forced to abort babies that they want, even up to the ninth month of pregnancy.  It does not matter whether you are pro-life or pro-choice on this issue.  No one supports forced abortion, because it is not a choice.

“Further, instituting a two-child policy will not end gendercide. Indeed, areas in which two children currently are allowed are especially vulnerable to gendercide, the sex-selective abortion of females.  According to the 2009 British Medical Journal study of 2005 national census data, in nine provinces, for “second order births” where the first child is a girl, 160 boys were born for every 100 girls. In two provinces, Jiangsu and Anhui, for the second child, there were 190 boys for every hundred girls born. This study stated, “Sex selective abortion accounts for almost all the excess males.”  Because of this gendercide, there are an estimated 37 million Chinese men who will never marry because their future wives were terminated before they were born. This gender imbalance is a powerful, driving force behind trafficking in women and sexual slavery, not only in China, but in neighboring nations as well.

“Moreover, the Chinese Communist Party periodically modifies the One Child Policy, but the coercion at its core remains. Reports of these tweaks — especially when mischaracterized by western media — throw the human rights world into confusion and blunt genuine efforts to end forced abortion in China.  On September 9, 2010, for example, TIME ran the headline, “China Could Overthrow One-Child Rule.” Myriad other news sources followed suit. This dramatic headline was based on the fact that China proposed to run a pilot program allowing some couples to have two children.  Soon afterwards, on September 25, 2010 – the 30th anniversary of the One Child Policy – a top population control official praised the policy and stated that China “will stick to the family planning policy in the coming decades.”  Moreover, despite this pilot program, numerous reports of late-term forced abortions have surfaced since 2010, including the forced abortion at seven months of Feng Jianmei in June 2012.”

For a discussion of forced abortion cases that have arisen in 2011-2012, read WRWF’s Complaint to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Wome (UNCSW). www.womensrightswithoutfrontiers.org/blog/?p=717

For a discussion of forced abortion and other egregious violations of human rights in connection with coercive population control, read WRWF’s 2013 Complaint to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW).
www.womensrightswithoutfrontiers.org/blog/?p=1254

Read the Xinhua Report:  “China to Ease One-Child Policy”
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2013-11/15/c_132891920.htm