Drew Zahn is a WND news editor who cut his journalist teeth as a member of the award-winning staff of Leadership, Christianity Today's professional journal for church leaders. A former pastor, he is the editor of seven books, including Movie-Based Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching, which sparked his ongoing love affair with film and his weekly WND column, "Popcorn and a (world)view."More ↓Less ↑
A woman’s death, reportedly from hanging herself in a Chinese family-planning office, has thrown a spotlight on the country’s pitiless forced-sterilization policy and the lengths the government will go to shield it from criticism.
On March 13 in the Beizhanglou village of the Henan Province, 42-year-old Yang Yuzhi was reportedly found hanging dead from a wire atop a stairwell, her neck nearly severed. Though officially ruled a suicide, heavy bruising on the woman’s body has led some to suspect Yang was murdered at the family-planning office, her death made to look like a self-inflicted hanging.
A Chinese newspaper reports Yang was first sterilized in 1995, but the first operation failed. The paper reports she was then “dragged and forced to undergo a second surgery” by the local Family Planning Commission.
Yet Yang reportedly experienced chronic pain from the procedures for years, and she was known to repeatedly petition the family-planning office to pay for pain medication that would offer her relief.
At noon on March 13, Yang again left home to petition the office for relief. She never returned.
Yang’s family reports after 5:00 p.m. that day, they received word that Yang was dead, her body was at the local morgue, beaten black and blue and with obvious neck wounds. They contend Yang left that morning with several thousand yuan, money that has yet to be found.
Women’s Rights without Frontiers, an international coalition that opposes forced abortion and sexual slavery in China, is demanding an investigation into what it suspects may have been a murder, politically covered up as a suicide.
“The death of Yang Yuzhi demonstrates the urgency of stopping forced sterilization,” the group stated in a release. “Lost in the headlines about the Chinese Communist Party’s recent admission that they have performed 336 million abortions under the One-Child Policy is the fact that they also admitted to performing 196 million sterilizations. These sterilizations too often leave women butchered and maimed.
“Yang’s death also emphasizes the absence of the rule of law in China,” the group continued. “She died while petitioning for justice. Family-planning officials commonly regard themselves as being above the law. Rarely are they held to account for the many injustices they commit.
“The death of Yang Yuzhi, if truly a suicide, also draws the connection between coercive family planning and the fact that China has the highest female suicide rate in the world,” the group concluded. “It has been reported that 500 women a day end their lives in China.”
Women’s Rights without Frontiers is urging those concerned about forced abortions in China to sign its petition to the Chinese ambassador, available here.
Dr. Jim Garrow, who has launched the Pink Pagoda Girls campaign to raise $1 billion over the next 10 years to save the lives of a million baby girls in China by facilitating their adoptions by couples outside the communist nation, said the foundation for the one-child policy – that overpopulation was threatening China – is a lie.
Garrow has already been credited with saving thousands of baby girls in China who otherwise would have been killed by their families under the one-child policy.
Garrow was executive director of the Bethune Institute’s popular Pink Pagoda schools in China, which are private, English-only institutions to prepare Chinese students to apply to the top universities in the world.
He said the American Christian population needs to remember the mandate from God that “a life given by God is a gift of God and should always be protected.”
Garrow in recent years has spent tens of millions of dollars to save some 45,000 infant girls who otherwise would have been discarded in China. They have been delivered to adoptive couples anxiously waiting to be parents.