Much publicity has been dedicated to the announcement – some months ago – from China that it was abandoning its “one child” policy, which forced abortions, or fines, or both on families with more than one child.
But nothing, really, has changed, except that Chinese leaders have committed to allowing families two children because they recognize the demographic trends, with so few children being born, were creating a looming disaster for the nation.
And, essentially, the mandatory forced abortions, the crippling fines for families, the intrusion into a couple’s bedroom, will continue unabated.
That’s all according to a complaint filed with the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women by an organization called Womens Rights Without Frontiers.
“Coercion is the core of the policy. Instituting a two-child policy will not end forced abortion or force sterilization. As blind activist Chen Guangcheng succinctly tweeted: ‘This is nothing to be happy about. First the #CCP would kill any baby after one. Now they will kill any baby after two. #ChinaOneChildPolicy,” wrote WRWF chief Reggie Littlejohn in the complaint to the U.N.
Her Women’s Rights Without Frontiers group long has fought China’s practices of forced killing, explaining over and over that the real “war on women” is being fought where forced abortion is triggering surges in suicide, breast cancer, an imbalance between men and women in society and a young population that is too small to sustain its senior citizens.
“This [battle] is beyond David and Goliath,” she said earlier in remarks prepared for presentation to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. “It’s an enormous, long-term battle, but together, we can end forced abortion and gendercide and sweep these atrocities into the dung-heap of history, where they belong.”
Her organization runs several campaigns to counter the massive assault on women that often is sanctioned and sponsored by governments around the world.
The new complaint notes that the Chinese government made the official change from a one child policy to two child policy on Jan. 1, 2016. But it said “characterizing this latest modification as ‘abandoning’ the one child policy is misleading. A two child policy will not end any of the human rights abuses caused by the one child policy, including forced abortion, involuntary sterilization or the sex-selective abortion of baby girls.”
“Sending out the message that China has ‘abandoned’ its one child policy is detrimental to sincere efforts to stop forced abortion and gendercide in China, because this message implies that the one-child policy is no longer a problem. In a world laden with compassion fatigue, people are relieved to cross China’s one child policy off of their list of things to worry about. But we must not do that. Let us not abandon the women of China, who continue to face forced abortion, and the baby girls of China, who continue to face sex-selective abortion and abandonment under the new two child policy.
“The one child policy does not need to be modified. It needs to be abolished.”
The organization has set up an online petition over the issue, and has created a video about “China’s War on Women.”
The reason for China’s change has nothing to do with respect for life or an acknowledgment of family rights, the complaint notes.
“The reason given for this adjustment is entirely demographic: ‘to balance population development and address the challenge of an ageing population.’ The adjustment is a tacit admission that continuation of the one child policy will lead to economic and demographic disaster. The policy was originally instituted for economic reasons. It is ironic that through this very policy, China has written its own economic death sentence,” the complaint said.
In fact, the Chinese Communist Party, in announcing the change, ignored the issue of human rights, the complaint explains, with Wang Peian, the vice-minister of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, affirming that China’s family planning restrictions would continue, just on a different level.
“The problem with the one child policy is not the number of children ‘allowed.’ Rather, it is the fact that the CCP is telling women how many children they can have and then enforcing that limit through forced abortion and forced sterilization,” Littlejohn wrote. “It will still be illegal for an unmarried woman to have a child. 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.”
She cited a report from a Chinese news site, Sixth Tone, to affirm that very contention.
“The couple, surnamed Zhong, both have a child from a previous marriage. They thought that they could have a child together under China’s new two child policy, as is the case in other provincse… They were mistaken,” the complaint said.
In fact, they have been ordered to abort or both would lose their government jobs, she explained.
“The Chinese Communist propaganda machine made a big deal out of its shift to a two child policy, announcing that they had ‘abandoned’ the one child policy. WRWF immediately stated that this minor modification would not end coercion, and now the proof is beginning to leak out. Our hearts go out to the Zhong family. They are brave indeed to stand up to the intense government pressure to abort at eight months or both lose their jobs. The Chinese government is doing its best to force them to have an abortion by exerting intense financial pressure. The fact that there are 500 people commiserating with them on WeChat demonstrates that they are not alone. This would indicate a pattern or practice of continuing coercion,” Littlejohn wrote.
Millions of deaths
The complaint outlines a number of other issues on which the public should be informed, she wrote.
For example, a 2015 U.S. State Department report affirmed that China has about 23 million abortions a year, not the 13 million reported earlier.
“The United States population is about 320 million, with about one million abortions per year. The population of China is almost 1.4 billion, with about 23 million abortions per year. Therefore China, with four times the population of the United States, has 23 times the number of abortions,” the complaint said.
New technology also allows pregnant women and girls to determine the gender of the unborn baby, and in a society that values boys for their support for parents during their old age, girls often are targeted before they are even born.
“As I stated in testimony before the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, ‘Where brutal son preference meets non-invasive, early sex determination of a fetus, inevitably baby girls will be selectively aborted,'” Littlejohn wrote.
The complaint also attacks the claim that more abortions are good for the climate.
“Regarding ‘sustainable development,’ at the U.N. Climate Conference in Copenhagen in December of 2009, a senior official responsible for the coercive population control famously stated that the one child policy was successful in reducing carbon emissions blamed for global warming,” Littleton wrote.
But, she said, “Human beings are not walking carbon footprints,” and the 400 million abortion deaths in China already are nothing less that “official government rape.”
‘Prevention of Violence Against Women and Girls’
And what about that U.N. theme, “The Prevention of Violence Against Women and Girls”?
“For most of us, ‘it’s a girl’ is cause for enormous joy, happiness and celebration. But in many countries, this phrase can be a death sentence. In fact, the words, ‘it’s a girl’ are the deadliest words on earth when said at the birth of a child. According to one U.N. estimate, up to 200 million women are missing in the world today due to ‘gendercide,’ the selective abortion, abandonment or deadly neglect of baby girls just because they are female,” she wrote.
“This is not a political issue. This is a human rights issue that must be approached as an area of common ground. No one supports the systematic elimination of women and girls.”
And then there is evidence of the abortion link to breast cancer.
“A meta-analysis of the association between induced abortion and breast cancer risk among Chinese females, dated November 24, 2013, was published by NCBI, National Center for Biotechnology Information, branch of the NIH, National Institute of Health,” she wrote. “Researchers in China have found that the dramatic rise in breast cancer in China is associated with the prevalence of induced abortions (IA) under the one child policy. The study, conducted by a team of epidemiologists from Tianjin Medical University Cancer Hospital, analyzed data from over 36 different studies in both the United States and China. Their conclusion: ‘IA [is] significantly associated with an increased risk of breast cancer among Chinese females, and the risk of breast cancer increases as the number of IA increases.’ Specifically, the study found that one IA increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer by 44 percent, two by 76 percent, and three by 89 percent,” the complaint notes.