Forced Abortions, Suffering of Millions of Women Decried on 34th Anniversary of China's One Child Policy

Chinese infants undergo a daily medical examination at a maternal and child health care hospital in Taiyuan, Shanxi province.
Chinese infants undergo a daily medical examination at a maternal and child health care hospital in Taiyuan, Shanxi province. | (Photo: Reuters/Stringer)

Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women's Rights Without Frontiers, has written an open letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping on the 34th anniversary of China's one-child policy, condemning the continuation of forced abortions in the country.

Littlejohn wrote that it is time to end the policy, which has caused "incalculable suffering to hundreds of millions of women and families in China."

"It will not work to replace it by a 'two-child policy' as some of your advisors may be suggesting," the letter states.

"Your government has boasted that it has 'prevented' more than 400 million births through this policy. These births have been prevented through forced abortions, involuntary sterilizations, confiscatory 'terror fines,' gendercide and infanticide — all in violation of international human rights law."

Littlejohn, who has long been campaigning for the policy to end, said that it cases "more violence against women and girls than any other official policy on earth."

"The one-child policy is China's war on women. Any discussion of women's rights, or human rights, would be a charade if forced abortion in China is not front and center. It does not matter whether you are pro-life or pro-choice on this issue. No one supports forced abortion, because it is not a choice," she stated.

In December the Chinese parliament adopted resolutions that allow couples to have two children, if either parent is an only child. The one-child policy was established in the late-1970s to check the nation's population growth.

Littlejohn disagreed with any notions that the one-child policy has been eased, however, noting that couples were already allowed to have a second child if both parents are single children themselves, and that the resolutions were simply "minor adjustments."

She also criticized China's 2014 promotion in the State Department's annual Trafficking in Persons, and argued that the tweaking of the one-child policy does not signify improved efforts to prevent human trafficking.

"Allowing a relatively small number of families to have a second child will not end gendercide or sexual slavery in China," Littlejohn wrote.

"The selective abortion and abandonment of baby girls is most prevalent in the countryside, where couples already can have a second child if the first child is a girl. Even if the most recent modification were to improve gender ratios at birth, the impact on sexual slavery would not be felt for decades to come."

As for China's concern with its large population, Littlejohn told The Christian Post in June 2013:

"China's 'population problem' is not that it has too many people, but that it has too few young people. China will get old before it gets rich."

The WRWF president added that China has the most skewed sex ratio in the world, which stands at 117-118 boys born for every 100 girls.

"The Chinese forced abortion policy is systematic, institutionalized violence against women. Because of the sheer numbers involved, it is the most massive women's rights issue in the world today, and it must be stopped," Littlejohn concluded.

"President Xi Jinping, you are uniquely positioned to end the greatest human rights atrocity on earth today. Since you are able to accomplish this, you are morally obligated to do so. Let this be the legacy of your presidency: to transform Chinese law and culture so that women can truly 'hold up half the sky.'"

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