A campaign targeting one of the world’s biggest companies, Apple, with a demand that it halt forced family planning at its Chinese production facilities is gaining steam, with a new statement from Reggie Littlejohn of the Women’s Rights without Frontiers coalition.
“We are challenging Apple to assure customers that products made in China are not made in facilities that practice coercive family planning or stifle free speech,” Littlejohn said in a recent statement.
The issue is China’s one-child-per-family policy in which second children are aborted, forcibly if necessary, because of those government regulations.
Those practices are taking place at plants used by Apple to produce its consumer goods, according to the company’s own information.
“We want to know what has happened to women at Apple factories when they have been found to be pregnant without a birth permit. Have they been referred for a forced abortion or involuntary sterilization? With the one child/forced abortion law in place, how can Apple assure consumers that its products are made in facilities free of coercive population control?” Littlejohn asked.
“We are also asking Apple to take the lead in endorsing our ‘Principles of Corporate Responsibility,’ in which multinational corporations will refuse to comply with coercive family planning practices at their facilities in China,” she said.
Littlejohn is joining a campaign that already has been endorsed by blind Chinese rights activist Chen Guangcheng, human rights activist Andrew Duncan and China Aid President Bob Fu.
The group recently sent a letter to Apple President Tim Cook.
They said, “As you know from Apple’s own internal investigation, ’24 [Apple] facilities conducted pregnancy tests, and 56 facilities did not have policies and procedures that prohibit discriminatory practices based on pregnancy.’”
And they noted that Apple said it has been “auditing its facilities since 2006.”
“Why, then, is it still the case that pregnancy testing is reported as rampant in Apple’s 2012 Supplier Responsibility Progress Report? Either Apple’s requirement that these practices must stop is new, or its policies to implement it are ineffectual. … No matter what one’s personal view is on abortion – forced abortion is unacceptable.
“We are concerned that such practices may still be in force at Chinese factories today, including factories owned by multinationals. We are sure that Apple would be appalled to learn that anything like this could happen at an Apple facility. Since dozens of Apple facilities have required pregnancy testing, however, it is a legitimate concern that they may also have been complicit with forced abortion under the One Child Policy,” thye continued.
The coalition has yet to obtain a response from Apple.
The company also declined to respond to a WND message left asking about the issue.
The article said the policy was introduced in the 1970s and made mandatory in 1980, restricting most married couples to one child. It reported employers “are required” to take part in the family planning oversight.
The report said Apple relies on Foxconn Technology Group, Hon Hai Precisions Industry Co. and others to build its consumer products.
The U.S. government formally opposes such actions, with Michael Posner, assistant secretary of state, telling the news report, “As a matter of U.S. policy, any coercive measures, including forced abortion, we deplore.”
Littlejohn appears in an online video that condemns the policy and practice:
Chen told the news report the coalition hopes Apple becomes a leader in opposing coercive family planning.
The letter said, “We invite Apple to champion this cause.”