You Are Funding Forced Abortions in China

by Reggie Littlejohn

So am I. Not only elective abortions. Forced abortions. It doesn’t matter whether you are pro-life or pro-choice on this issue. No one can support forced abortion, because it is not a choice.

What do I mean by “forced abortions”? Here are a couple of examples from the U.S. Department of State China Report, just released on February 25, 2009: “In March [2008] family planning officials in Henan Province reportedly forcibly detained a 23-year-old unmarried woman who was seven months pregnant. Officials reportedly tied her to a bed, induced labor, and killed the newborn upon delivery. In April [2008] population-planning officials in Shandong provinces reportedly detained and beat the sister of a woman who had illegally conceived a second child in an attempt to compel the woman to undergo an abortion.”

According to the Congressional-Executive Commission on China report, released on October 31, 2008, “Violators of the [one-child] policy are routinely punished with exorbitant fines, and in some cases, subjected to forced sterilization, forced abortion, arbitrary detention, and torture.”

In my opinion, systematic use of forced abortion is a crime against humanity. And now, you and I will be footing the bill.

Just this month, Congress quietly passed $50 million in funding for UNFPA, the United Nations Family Planning Fund. The bill includes language that voids Kemp-Kasten, which for 23 years has stood to prevent US dollars from funding coercive family planning.

The US cut off funding UNFPA in 2001 because an investigation, headed by then Secretary of State Colin Powell, found that UNFPA was complicit with the Chinese Family Planning officials in coercive implementation of China’ One-Child Policy. According to our own State Department, as well as Amnesty International, China Aid and others, the implementation of China’s One-Child Policy remains coercive.

Why must we fund forced abortion with our tax dollars?

Not only are women dragged out of their homes screaming and pleading in “family planning raids,” but the One-Child Policy has also led to many other serious human rights violations. I’ll name just three:

  1. Gendercide. Because of the traditional preference for boys, most of the aborted babies are girls. There are 120 boys born for every 100 girls born in China, and in some areas the number is as high as 130 boys born for every 100 girls. Since the One-Child Policy was instituted in 1978, 400 million births – greater than the entire population of the United States – have been “prevented.” You could say that an entire nation of women is not living in China today because they were selectively aborted before they were born. This is gendercide.
  2. Human Trafficking and Sexual Slavery. Because of abortion, abandonment, and infanticide of baby girls, there are an estimated 30 million Chinese men who will never marry because they cannot find wives. This gender imbalance is a powerful, driving force behind trafficking in women and sexual slavery from nations surrounding China. According to the February, 2009 State Department China Report, “Over the past five years, there reportedly was an increase in cross-border trafficking cases, with most trafficked women and girls coming from North Korea, Mongolia and Vietnam. Others came from Burma, Laos, Russia and Ukraine.”
  3. Female suicide. According to the World Health Organization, China has the highest female suicide rate of any country in the world. Approximately 500 Chinese women commit suicide each day. Forced abortion traumatizes women. Could this high suicide rate be related to forced abortion?

And now, our taxpayer dollars will subsidize forced abortion in China. Think about that when you write your check to Uncle Sam on April 16. Then let President Obama and your Congressional Representatives know what you think. If there’s enough of an outcry, Congress can pass an amendment blocking our UNFPA funding from going to nations that practice coercive family planning. China should be excluded from UNFPA funding.

The great 19th century admirer of American democracy, Alexis de Tocqueville once observed, “America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.” May we not lose our goodness, and hence our greatness as a nation by funding forced abortions in China.

Op-Ed by Reggie Garcia Littlejohn
Reggie Littlejohn serves as an expert on China’s One-Child Policy for Human Rights Without Frontiers, in Belgium, as well as the China Aid Association. On December, 2008, she delivered an address at European Parliament in Brussels concerning the One-Child Policy. A graduate of Yale Law School, Ms. Littlejohn has represented Chinese refugees in their political asylum cases in the United States.

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