POPULATION: by Joseph A. D'AgostinoNews Weekly
Communist China's abuse of pregnant women
, October 8, 2005
The US Bush Administration is withholding funding from a leading UN agency which collaborates with and subsidises communist China's draconian forced abortion and sterilisation policies, writes Joseph A. D'Agostino.For the fourth year in a row, the Bush Administration made the right decision recently by withholding funding from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
Whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, you should favour this decision. By denouncing it, feminist and "family planning" organisations have once again shown that they are more pro-control than they are pro-choice.
By promoting family planning in mainland China and working with the Chinese Government's population-control apparatus, UNFPA effectively supports and subsidises China's coercive population control program.
Anyone who believes UNFPA's claim that its participation has moderated China's brutal policies need only read the article "Enemies of the State?" in Time
magazine (September 19, 2005), which details "what appears to be one of the most brutal mass sterilisation and abortion campaigns in years".
Officials in Linyi, Shandong Province began a campaign in March this year that included forced abortions and forced sterilisations of thousands of Chinese women so that local officials could meet their birth limitation goals.
Communist China's massive, systematic and official restriction of women's reproductive freedom has drawn little interest from feminist and family-planning groups and officials, some of whom have even praised the coercive program.
In China, women are typically allowed to have only one or two children, depending on certain circumstances, before facing severe penalties.
The rights of women, and those of their husbands, in this nation of 1.3 billion people are unimportant to the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), and Population Action International (PAI), who are among the organisations denouncing the Bush Administration's decision.
Now, $25 million of the $34 million in funding that Congress appropriated for UNFPA will be redirected by the Bush Administration to children's health programs owing to UNFPA's support for China's coercive system, and the rest will not be spent. A provision of law called Kemp-Kasten authorises the Administration to withhold funding from groups that support coercive population control programs.Whitewashing crimes
"UNFPA is guilty of shamelessly supporting and whitewashing terrible crimes against humanity, and the United States will have no part in subsidising them," said Republican member of the House of Representatives for New Jersey, Chris Smith, in response to the decision.
"If only UNFPA would lobby the Chinese Government to prohibit forced abortion as aggressively as they lobby the United States to overturn the law against coercion, there would be less suffering in China right now. The international community should be appalled that UNFPA spends more time and energy demonising the US for providing funding to other organisations than it does in criticising the murderous Chinese population control program."Time
's excellent piece by Hannah Beech details the horrific campaign against mothers in Shandong this year. Nine counties were targeted for birth suppression.
The following gives an example of how massive and brutal the campaign was: "In the Linyi county of Yinan alone, at least 7,000 people were forced to undergo sterilisation between March and July, according to lawyers who spoke with local family-planning officials," reported Time
. "Several villagers, the lawyers allege, were beaten to death while under detention for trying to help family members avoid sterilisation."
A local activist named Chen Guangcheng filed a lawsuit against Linyi officials for their crimes and is now under house arrest for his efforts.Time
demonstrated the power of the press. Just a few days after the article appeared, Chinese state-owned media announced the arrest of some birth-planning officials in Linyi.
Chen's lawsuit and the other evidence of the goings-on in Linyi didn't interest the communist apparatchiks. Apparently, the Time
The other, less brutal methods of persecuting women and their husbands who want to have more than one or two children officially continue.
Fines of up to 10 times the average annual household income in China, loss of employment, loss of medical benefits, and loss of education benefits for their children are among the legal penalties for parents exceeding their child quotas in China. These methods are officially promoted in China at the highest levels.
Don't count on UNFPA pulling out of China now that its efforts to moderate China's population control program have been exposed, again, as a failure. Don't count on feminist and family planning groups to stop agitating for the US taxpayer to indirectly fund the forcible abortion and sterilisation of Chinese women through the UNFPA.
They do not favour choice for women. The only choice they are interested in is the choice to control.
- Joseph A. D'Agostino is vice-president for communications at the Population Research Institute (PRI). This article is taken from the PRI Weekly Briefing, Vol. 7, No. 37, September 23, 2005.