Last week the news broke of yet another forced abortion in China. In an interview with the UK’s Sky News, Liu Xinwen and her husband Zhou Guoquing revealed that their home was invaded by officials from the Shandong Family Planning who held down Mr. Zhou while his wife was pulled from her bed and forcibly taken to a hospital where she was forcibly aborted at six month of pregnancy.
At four in the morning on September 30th, 20 family planning officials kicked down the door of Zhou and Liu’s family home and forcibly removed Ms. Liu. She was then taken to the People’s Hospital of Fangzi District in Weifang City where she was injected, against her will, with an abortion inducing drug. Her husband was not informed of his wife’s whereabouts and was not able to locate her for five hours. By that time, it was too late. The drug had already been administered and Ms. Liu could no longer feel her child moving inside of her.
The dead baby was subsequently delivered the following day and the body of her fully formed son was tossed in a bucket next to Ms. Liu’s bed. Her husband captured the horrific scene on his camera.
“After that, I didn’t want my wife to see my crying. I went outside. I cried, but only for a while because I needed to return to comfort her. She was very sad. She cried, day and night,” Mr. Zhou reported. “Every time I heard babies’ voices from other wards, I could hardly control myself. I had to go out. I have lost my child. I am speechless, words can’t describe my feelings.”
It would be untrue to say that this occurrence was unique to this couple. Similar incidents have happened and continue to happen to thousands of Chinese couples as a result of China’s draconian one-child policy. In August, Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, a human rights organization, reported on Lili Zeng of Jiangxi Province who was forcibly aborted at nine months of pregnancy. Her baby was born alive and died in her arms.
China’s Health Ministry estimates that in the four decades since the imposition of the one-child policy more than 336 million abortions have taken place in the nation. Numerous human rights groups and news accounts have demonstrated that many of these abortions were forced or coerced.
The One-Child Policy was instated in 1979 and authorities claim that the law has prevented around 400 million births from 1979 to 2011. This came about due, at least in part, to an oppressive policy which employed the use of forced abortions, sex-selective abortion, female infanticide, and the persecution of families who refused to comply.
Those who speak out against this injustice are also persecuted. Most famously, blind human rights activist Chen Guangcheng was put under house arrest and abused at the hands of the Chinese officials for several years before managing to escape and subsequently take refuge in America. Mr. Chen has now taken on a position with the Witherspoon Institute where he has stated that he intends to fight for democratic freedoms in China and continue to monitor the accounts of forced abortion in the country.
Despite the assurances and excuses of the Chinese government, these atrocious human rights violations continue to occur. If the United States is going to continue to purport to be a nation which cares about human rights, we must pressure China to end the vicious one-child policy and to stop the violations to its people’s right to religion, association, and expression. The State department must make it clear that a friendly relationship between our two countries must be contingent upon the improvement of the Chinese government’s treatment of its people and respect of their human dignity.