“The coercive enforcement of China’s one-child policy causes more violence against women and girls than any other official policy on earth and any other official policy in the history of the world, ” according to an expert speaking at a memorial for victims of communism.
Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, spoke at the Victims of Communism Memorial in Washington, D.C. on June 12. She described a recent case — one of many reported cases — of forced abortion in China:
Feng Jianmei was beaten and dragged into a vehicle by a group of Family Planning Officials while her husband, Deng Jiyuan, was out working. The officials asked for RMB 40,000 in fines from Feng Jianmei’s family. When they did not receive the money, they forcibly aborted Feng at seven months, laying the body of her aborted baby next to her in the bed.
Feng Jianmei is not alone. The Chinese Communist Party estimates that it has “prevented” 400 million lives through its brutal One Child Policy. Every one of these 400 million snuffed out lives is a victim of communism.
Affecting 1.3 billion people, the coercive enforcement of China’s One Child Policy causes more violence against women and girls than any other official policy on earth and any other official policy in the history of the world.
In her speech, Littlejohn named six reasons for saying that the one-child policy causes more violence against women and girls than any other in the world:
- Forced abortion is traumatic to women. This can happen up to the ninth month of pregnancy. Some forced abortions are so violent that the women themselves die, along with their full term babies. Forced abortion is official government rape.
- Women who have violated the policy are often victims of forced sterilization, which can lead to life-long health complications. These forced abortions and forced sterilizations are often performed without anesthesia.
- A document leaked out of China in November 2009 discusses methods of infanticide, including the puncturing of the skulls and injecting alcohol into the brains of full term babies, usually girls, to kill them during labor.
- Because of the traditional preference for boys, sex-selective abortion of girls is common — a form of “gendercide.”
- Because of this gendercide, there are an estimated 37 million more men than women in China today. This gender imbalance is a major force driving sexual slavery of women and girls in Asia.
- China has the highest female suicide rate of any country in the world – approximately 500 women a day. I believe this high suicide rate is related to forced abortion.
Funding Forced Abortions
While some may see this as China’s problem alone, the fact is that the United States and other Western countries are involved in this violence against women and girls through their financial support of international population control groups.
One such group is the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Beginning in 2002, UNFPA lost federal funding after investigations said the organization was complicit with the one-child policy. In response, the Canadian government increased their funding of UNFPA, and U.S. funding was later restored by the Obama administration despite warnings that this would mean funding forced abortions.
Currently there are two budget bills in Congress that would fund or defund UNFPA: in May, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee approved a bill that would strip $39 million in requested funding for UNFPA, while the Senate Appropriations Committee version of the bill would increase funding for UNFPA.
Last October, more than 100 members of Congress sent a letter to President Obama asking him to cut off funding for UNFPA. The letter read, in part:
By now, it ought to be absolutely clear that UNFPA’s programs in China fully comport with Beijing’s cruelty toward women. Pursuant to the Kemp-Kasten provision, other administrations have appropriately denied all funds to the UNFPA. The one child per couple policy is inhumane and the most egregious systematic attack on women ever. …Swift and decisive action is necessary to correct an emerging pattern of your Administration’s disinterest in the human rights abuses that occur on a daily basis in China. …
Since you took office, $145 million in taxpayer funds ($40 million in FY11) have been allocated for the UNFPA despite their support for, and participation in, China’s brutal policy. That complicity must end.
Coerced and Forced Abortions Happen Here
The problem for the U.S. and other Western countries goes beyond funding. In an article at National Review, population control expert Steve Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, said that sex-selection abortions are happening in the U.S. as well as overseas, and that many were coerced or forced:
[Dr. Sunita Puri], who practices in the Bay Area, wanted to find out why so many immigrant Indian women in the United States were so eager to find out the sex of their unborn children, and why so many of them choose abortion when they found out they were carrying a girl.
What she discovered over the course of 65 interviews conducted over several years profoundly shocked her. Fully 89 percent of the women carrying girls opted for an abortion, and nearly half had previously aborted girls.
Puri’s report, published in Social Science and Medicine this last April, makes for grim reading. Women told Puri of their guilt over their sex-selection abortions, how they felt that they were unable to “save” their daughters. Even the women who turned out to be carrying boys this time around could not shake their remorse over having earlier aborted daughters in this deadly game of reproductive roulette.
They also made clear that they were not free actors when it came to reproductive “choice.” Many, when it was learned that they were carrying girls, became the victims of family violence. Some — in an effort to make them miscarry — had been slapped and shoved around by angry husbands and in-laws, or even kicked in the stomach. Others were denied food, water, and rest in order to coerce them into aborting their unwanted girl babies.
Indeed, women and girls throughout the world — including in the U.S. — have been subjected to coercive policies and actions or of physical violence in order to compel abortion. In some cases, they have been assaulted or killed for refusing to abort. A Florida man was convicted in January of two counts of murder in the shooting deaths of his girlfriend and her nearly eight-month-old unborn son. Prosecutors said Edward Jermaine Babbs killed Stephanie Rabsatt and her unborn son, Jayden, in 2009 after failing to convince her to have an abortion.
You can learn more about coerced and forced abortion in the U.S. by reading our special report, Forced Abortion in America (pdf download).
In the U.S., the Center Against Forced Abortions provides legal help for women and girls who are being pressured or coerced to abort, and training for organizations that help women in crisis pregnancies.