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Outrage mounts against China’s “One-Child Policy,” sparked by photos of forced abortion in seventh month

by | Jul 10, 2012

By Dave Andrusko

A Chinese woman was beaten and had her child forcibly aborted at seven months of pregnancy in Shanxi Province, China. In a nauseating twist, these ‘officials’ took a photograph of the woman lying in bed with her aborted child lying at her side.

You hear a lot in many contexts about “tipping points,” that juncture where the forces maintaining the status quo are overwhelmed and finally give way. While it would be way too early to conclude China’s ghastly “One-Child Policy” is teetering, it is also true that the world’s angry is mounting against this grotesque attack on human rights, built on coerced abortion and forced sterilization.

Part Two today– “Recent Case of Forced Abortion at Seven Months of Feng Jianmei Sparks Global Outrage”– provides an overview of the powerful testimony presented at an open hearing held Monday by the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Africa, global health and human rights, chaired by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ).

In his opening remarks (which were drawn from a longer statement that can be read in full here, Rep. Smith said unequivocally, “China’s one-child policy in effect since 1979 is state sponsored murder and constitutes massive crimes against humanity.” Abortion, he said, “is a weapon of mass destruction. Millions have been exterminated.”

Clearly the massive publicity surrounding Feng Jianmei, the young mother of one who was kidnapped off the street and her seven-month-old unborn child brutally aborted, has galvanized opposition at home in China and abroad. What made this all-too-routine outcome different is that her husband took photos of his distraught and weakened wife, laying next to the body of their aborted baby, and sent it out through the Chinese equivalent of Twitter. The outrage began almost immediately and, if anything, grows louder by the day.

Rep. Smith added additional details to Feng Jianmei’s ordeal:

“Media reports indicate that local officials in northwestern Shaanxi Province held Ms. Feng for three days, blindfolded, and coerced her to consent to the abortion. Even with the supposed consent, it took five men to hold her down and administer the drug that induced the 48-hour labor. The injection was given directly to the child’s head.”

There was testimony from many experts familiar with the grim details of China’s One-Child Policy, including Pastor Bob Fu, Founder and President, ChinaAid Association; Reggie Littlejohn, Founder and President, Women’s Rights Without Frontiers; Steven Mosher, President, Population Research Institute; Yanling Guo, Victim of China’s population control policies; and T. Kumar, Director of International Advocacy, Amnesty International. You can read their testimony at http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/hearings/view/?1452.

Just as Feng Jianmei’s ordeal hammers home the point that forced abortion is thriving in China today, testimony from another woman who fled China years ago reminded the audience that there is a long history to what Rep. Smith calls an “incomprehensible” trauma. The following comes from a story in today’s Washington Times:

“The harsh realities of forced abortion were brought to the hearing via a telephone call from Yanling Guo, who fled China with her husband and is now in Bangkok.

“In 1995, Ms. Guo said through Mr. Fu, she was eight months pregnant and staying with her sister. One morning, Ms. Guo was accosted by family-planning officials, taken to a hospital and forced onto a delivery table. A masked health care professional came in, felt for the baby’s head and ‘stuck a big, long, fatal needle into my abdomen,’ Ms. Guosaid.

“Someone later pulled the baby out of her and laid it on a nearby table. ‘It was a baby boy. My son, my son,’ Ms. Guo said, her voice dissolving into deep sobs.

“The panel waited for her to regain her composure, but eventually Ms. Guo’s husband took the phone to finish her testimony. ‘Remove this evil family-planning system and restore human rights,’ he said over his wife’s still-audible cries.”

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Categories: China