When China’s communist government announced it was relaxing its one-child policy, which forced abortions on pregnant women who already had a child, some in the Western world praised the move as a step toward liberty.
But Reggie Littlejohn, president of the nonprofit Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, warned there was a catch.
There always is one with the Chinese communists, she suggested.
Now she has proof.
It comes in reports that China’s government, operating under its new two-child policy, “has forcibly aborted a woman’s third child.”
“The woman, an ethnic Kazakh, was a widow with two children, living in the Xinjiang region. She married a Kazakh citizen, living in Kazakhstan, across the border. She was told that, in order to cancel her Chinese citizenship to become a citizen of Kazakhstan, she would need to return to China,” Littlejohn said.
“On this return trip, Chinese cadres invited her to the hospital for a ‘health check-up.’ They discovered that she was pregnant and demanded an abortion, because this third pregnancy violated the two-child policy – even though she told them, ‘my husband is a Kazakh citizen and I am carrying a Kazakh citizen.'”
They eventually forced her into an abortion by threatening to send her brother to an internment camp, essentially a prison.
“After the abortion, the police took her brother to the internment camp anyway,” Littlejohn said.
“The fact that forced abortion continues under China’s two-child policy is further documented in the Population Control section of the 2018 Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) Report, which states that regulations “include provisions that require couples to be married to have children and limit them to bearing two children. … Officials reportedly continued to enforce compliance with family planning policies using methods including heavy fines, job termination, detention, and abortion,” her report said.
“The forced abortion of this woman’s third pregnancy is an outrage. It proves that the Chinese Communist Party still functions as womb police. When China instituted the two-child policy, it announced that it had ‘abandoned’ the one-child policy, implying that the Chinese government had ceased all coercive population control. I immediately stated that single women and third pregnancies could still be aborted under the new rule,” she said.
“To avert demographic disaster,” said Littlejohn, “China has stated that it is considering letting all couples have as many children as they want. This would be a great step in the right direction, but it would still leave open the forcible abortion of single women. The new rule should state that all women can have as many children as they want.”
NPR reported the woman’s claim of threats by Chinese officials against the her brother.
“The police and local officials came and took me and my brother to a government building,” the woman told NPR. “They made my brother sign a document saying that if I don’t get an abortion, he would suffer the consequences. I knew this meant he’d be detained in a camp. I’d do anything to protect my brother, so I agreed to the abortion.”
After she was released from the hospital, five government officials moved into the house where she was staying to monitor her.
“This sort of official homestay has become common in Xinjiang, where Han Chinese state workers are eligible for promotions if they volunteer to live with ethnic minority families to keep an eye on them and to educate them about the policies of China’s Communist Party. The woman says she wasn’t able to leave her house because authorities had seized her Chinese ID card,” NPR reported.
“While the woman’s story stands out, state surveillance has become common in Xinjiang, a region that Communist Party authorities have transformed into one of the world’s most tightly controlled police states,” the report said.
Eventually, NPR reported, officers escorted her and her two children to the Kazakh border.
The woman said that at the border, “they made me sign a pledge that I wouldn’t talk to journalists about what happened to me, what’s happening in Xinjiang, nor the fact that I had an abortion involuntarily.”
WND reported Littlejohn said earlier this year that if China stopped its forced abortion policy, it would be a “momentous victory for human rights and a vindication of the application of international pressure as a strategy to affect change within that totalitarian regime.”
It was in 2013 that China relaxed the one-child policy it enacted in 1979, allowing families to have two children if one parent, rather than both parents, was an only child.
China apparently was concerned about the threat of a demographic disaster because of decades of eliminating second children. It has a large population of senior citizens with too few young workers to support them.
Littlejohn warned at the time, “As always when dealing with the Chinese Communist Party, there is a catch.”
Littlejohn’s organization long has fought China’s practices of forced abortion, insisting it is the real “war on women.” The forced-abortion policy, she said, has caused a surge in suicide and breast cancer, an imbalance between men and women, and a young population that is too small to sustain its senior citizens.
Women’s Rights Without Frontiers also operates a “Save a Girl” campaign through which support is directed to mothers of girls facing financial hardship by raising the child.