China’s announcement that it is relaxing its one-child only policy, which since its launch in the 1970s has subjected countless women to forced abortions, sometimes in the ninth month of pregnancy, falls short, according to an expert on China’s strategy.
“The problem with the one child policy is not the number of children ‘allowed,'” said Reggie Littlejohn, president of Womens Rights Without Frontiers. “Rather, it is the fact that the [government] is telling women how many children they can have and then enforcing that limit through forced abortion, forced sterilization and infanticide.”
Xinhua, the official government mouthpiece, this week announced that “China will loosen its decades-long one-child population policy, allowing couples to have two children if one of them is an only child.”
According to the report, “China will implement this new policy while adhering to the basic state policy of family planning, according to the decision on major issues concerning comprehensively deepening reforms, which was approved at the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee held from Nov. 9 to 12 in Beijing.
“The birth policy will be adjusted and improved step by step to promote long-term balanced development of the population in China,” the report said.
“‘Relaxing the policy will keep China’s birth rate at a stable level,’ said Guo Zhenwei, a family-planning official with the National Health and Family Planning Commission.”
“The minor reform will not ‘ease’ the one child policy,” said Littlejohn, “It will merely tweak it.”
“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,” she said. “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.”
She continued, “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.”
She explained that in Jiangsu and Anhui provinces, for the second child, there were 190 boys for every hundred girls born.
“Sex selective abortion accounts for almost all the excess males,” that study explained.
“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.”
Xinhua reported that part of the driving force is that the nation is aging, and there are too few workers.
“China’s labor force, at about 940 million, decreased by 3.45 million year on year in 2012, marking the first ‘absolute decrease.’ The labor force is estimated to decrease by about 29 million over the current decade,” the report said.
“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,” Littlejohn said. “On Sept. 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.”
WND recently reported on some of the results of the policy. In one case, a family was told the expected baby was a girl – and abortion was in the offing. But into action jumped workers for Womens Rights Without Frontiers, offering help to the mother so that she could carry the baby to term.
The expected baby girl turned out to be a boy.
“The ultrasound was wrong,” a report from Littlejohn explained. “In tears, the mother thanks us for saving her son, almost lost because he was expected to be a girl.”
The report of the mistake and the miraculous results of the intervention of the international organization that fights gendercide – the decision to abort based on the sex of the unborn child – marked the international community’s recognition of the International Day of the Girl Child.
A report from Littlejohn explained the trauma facing unborn baby girls.
“For most of us, hearing ‘it’s a girl’ is cause for enormous joy, happiness and celebration. But in many countries, this announcement is a death sentence. Experts estimate that up to 200 million women are missing in the world today due to gendercide, mostly in China and India.
“This should not be a pro-choice or a pro-life issue. This is a human rights issue. Gendercide is violence against women and girls. No one supports the systematic elimination of females,” the report said.
“Or so I thought. Just last week it was reported that it is now legal to selectively abort girls in the UK,” she continued, “Where is the ‘feminist’ outcry? How does it advance women’s rights to selectively abort hundreds of millions of girls, simply because they are future women? When faced with human rights atrocities of this scale, silence is complicity.”
But she said there are all too many situations where “gendercide” isn’t a choice.
“There is a strong correlation between sex-selective abortion and coercion. Crushing social, economic, political and personal pressures in cultures with a strong son preference trample women carrying girls. Women in these cultures hardly select their daughters for abortion. They are forced,” the report said.