China’s Forced Abortions: District Family Planning & Security Officers, UNFPA’s Blind Eye

It is known about in this country, but not much discussed – and that’s the way China wants it. The Bush administration’s relations with China was very disheartening to those anti-abortion constituents for this very reason. At least they did cut funding to the UN’s Population Fund (UNPF).

Recently, as reported in a CNA article, China has begun cracking down on the illegal pregnancies of paid surrogates in China.

    One U.S. investigator of China’s one-child policy said the alleged coercion was “not surprising.” In the latest incident, Reuters reports that three young surrogate first-time mothers were discovered by authorities hiding in a communal flat in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou. District family planning and security officers broke into the apartment, corralled them into a van and drove them to a district hospital where they were compelled into a maternity ward.

    “I was crying ‘I don’t want to do this’,” a 20-year-old woman called Xiao Hong told Reuters. She was pregnant with four-month-old twins.

    “But they still dragged me in and injected my belly with a needle,” she said, reporting that the incident took place in late February.

    She said the government officers had forced her thumbprint onto a consent form before carrying out the abortion…

    The official Guangzhou Daily newspaper quoted district family planning officials as saying the women were unmarried and acting as “illegal” surrogates. The paper also reported that the mothers had agreed to undergo “remedial measures” in accordance with the law.

Outside of the surrogacy issue, it seems there are entire bureaucracies set up to decide individual citizens’ family planning choices. How does that sound? “District family planning officials and security officers.” Does this mean you need a permit or a license to have a child in China? Do people here in the US actually think about the mechanics of what a “one-child policy” means in China?

In 2007, NPR reported a story of a young woman of 19 and her 21 year-old boyfriend. She was nine months pregnant, days away from delivery, they wanted to get married. The local officials said she was too young to get a marriage certificate and forced her to have an abortion.

The former head of the UNPF, Dr. Nafis Sadik came to the US on July 20, 1999 and gave a speech about the UNPF and the Cairo Program.

    There is a tendency by a minority of policy makers in Washington to confuse and distort the work of UNFPA. Let me dispel these myths once and for all. This year, UNFPA entered into an agreement with the Government of China to a four-year pilot project in 32 counties in China, to put into practice the human rights approach embodied in the ICPD Programme of Action. UNFPA is working with the Chinese government to demonstrate that enabling individuals to make free, informed and voluntary choices about their family size is the right approach to stabilizing population. In the 32 pilot counties, China has agreed to lift all birth quotas and targets including the one-child policy.

It seems the UNFPA’s program with China isn’t really working too well. But we should give them $50 million – and President Obama did just that. Who said there is no slippery slope?

This is what happens when we re-write definitions, re-categorize pregnancy and life from miracles to unwanted, inconvenient, unplanned, out of our control burdens, and by some extremists as parasites.


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