President of “Women’s Rights without Frontiers” describes horrific abuses in China

By Sarah Terzo

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

At a congressional subcommittee on forced abortion in China, Reggie Littlejohn, founder and president, Women’s Rights without Frontiers, said the following:

“In this report we have cases of forced abortion, one woman at 8 months, another woman forcibly aborted with twins at 8 and a-half months; forced sterilization; forced contraception. And these forced contraceptions are not simply the installation of IUDs, which can be very painful, and even, as the witnesses have said today, these IUDs can be installed even though there are medical complications that counterindicate such an installation. But people – the lack of an IUD is used as an excuse for family planning cadres to come in and beat people. I have got a case in here where somebody’s mother-in-law literally had her hand almost broken in half because her daughter-in-law supposedly didn’t have an IUD.

We have got pictures of family-planning police. It looks like a military regiment; family planning jail cells; the demolition of homes, even by relatives. There is a woman here who missed a pregnancy check, and her own relatives were forced to demolish her home. We have pictures on that.

This report also contains accounts of a couple who were brutally tortured because the woman missed her pregnancy check by one day. She was one day late. A man whose head was smashed open and who is now permanently disabled because his wife had a 2nd child. I will show this briefly. But this report is filled with photographs like this. And a father who was beaten to death because it’s on the suspected of having a 2nd child…

Last year, crematorium workers in Guangdong Province found in infant crying in a medical waste receptacle on the way to the crematorium. When they opened it, they found a little baby boy who had cotton stuffed down his throat. Horrified, they sent that baby boy back to the hospital, perfectly healthy, and then that boy was returned to them later that day [dead] without an explanation of the cause of death.

In a separate incident, Xinhua reported that 21 bodies of fetuses and babies were found discarded in a river in East China last year. Xinhua News stated, “The bodies may have been dumped by cleaners from local hospitals after abortions induced labor. Such dead bodies are treated as medical waste by hospitals.”…

I asked organizations like UNFPA and International Planned Parenthood, if they truly stand for choice, if they truly stand for women’s reproductive rights and women’s reproductive health, how come they aren’t jumping up and down about forced sterilization in China?

For example, there was a 20 day campaign launched April 7 of 2010 in Puning City, Guandong Province, aimed to sterilize 9559 people, and they detained 1300 people in that forced sterilization campaign. That campaign was publicized in the London Times. Everybody knew about it. Where was UNFPA? Where was IPPF when this was going on, if they truly are promoting voluntarism in China?

Implication. Now, that is something new that I learned researching this report. The practice of implication means if one person is a violator of the one child policy, then their entire extended family is implicated or punished. So, for example, if I were illegally pregnant, my husband, my parents, his parents, our grandparents, our aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, the entire extended family can have their homes destroyed. In this one incident, Case 12 in Fujian Robin, family-planning officials beat a father to death on the suspicion that his son might have a 2nd child. That is implication.

Then, in another case, the extended family were all dragged into something called the Family-Planning Learning Center, and they were tortured for days on end, and then they were charged tuition, which also brings up the issue of corruption, which I think is a major driving force behind keeping the one child policy in place. People are making a lot of money off this…

Recently, just this year in Linyi County, there was a man who was murdered by family-planning police. They had come to seize his sister for forced abortion. She wasn’t home, so they started beating his father. So when he tried to defend his father one of the family-planning officials just took a knife and stabbed him in the chest, and he died. And these things happen with impunity. People are not prosecuted. They are not held accountable. I would say that really the spirit of the red guard lives on in the family-planning police.”

From “China’s One Child Policy: the Government’s Massive Crime against Women and Unborn Babies” Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights, Committee of Foreign Affairs House Of Representatives 112th Congress, September 22, 2001

Editor’s note. This appeared at Clinic Quotes and is reposted with permission.