Friday, November 14, 2014

What do you know about China's one child policy?

I frequently hear people dismiss China's one child policy as something that is in the past.  They talk of it as if it's no big deal.  An entire nation forcing its women to be injected with Depo Provera or to have babies aborted all the way up to nine months of pregnancy is tragic, inhumane and something we cannot continue ignoring.  

In college, I was able to read "A Mother's Ordeal: One Woman's Fight Against China's One Child Policy," which I would recommend to anyone who would like to know what the "policy" is really like.  It reads like a novel, but it is tragically non-fiction.  

Rep. Chris Smith, who has long fought for the rights of the Chinese people, recently wrote about current United States legislative efforts to fight the one-child policy, which he describes in part as:

For more than three decades, most brothers and sisters have been illegal. And the price for failing to conform to the limit of one child per couple is staggering. A Chinese woman who becomes pregnant without a government permit will be put under mind-bending pressure to abort. She knows that “out-of-plan” illegal children are denied education, health care, and marriage, and that fines for bearing a child without a birth permit can be ten times the average annual income of two parents. Families who can’t or won’t pay are jailed, or their homes are smashed.

If the brave woman still refuses to submit, she may be held in a punishment cell. If she flees, her relatives may be held and, very often, beaten. Group punishments will be used to socially ostracize her. Often, her colleagues and neighbors will be denied birth permits. If the woman is, by some miracle, still able to resist this pressure, she may be physically dragged to the operating table and forced to undergo an abortion.

The result of this policy is a nightmarish “brave new world” with no precedent in human history, where women are psychologically wounded, girls are the victims of sex-selective abortion, and children grow up without brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, or cousins. The United States government must take active steps to fight this atrocity.
Rep. Smith goes on to outline his efforts in Congress currently, as well as the support for the one-child policy given by the current administration (and, by extension, our taxes).  It's important to read and to know what is happening in China. 

It's not just China, however, that is choosing who should have children and how many.  Kenyan bishops recently drew attention to a puzzling tetanus vaccine campaign in their country (emphasis added):

According to reports from CISA agency in Nairobi, during a press conference in Nairobi, His Exc. Mgr. Paul Kariuki Njiru, Bishop of Embu and Chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops Catholic Health Commission of Kenya, questioned why the national tetanus campaign is aimed at girls and women aged between 14 to 49, excluding girls under the age of 13, in addition to the male population. Mgr. Kariuki Njiru reported the church had conducted laboratory tests on the vaccine used in the Tetanus campaign of March 2014 and found out that it contained the Beta HCG sub unit. HCG according to the findings is necessary for pregnancy. This substance, combined with the tetanus vaccine, actually becomes a vaccine against pregnancy. A similar methodology was used in previous tetanus campaigns in the Philippines, Nicaragua and Mexico.
This morning, I learned that in India this week ten women died and dozens more were critically injured during a government-sponsored sterilization campaign.  The women were pressured by the promise of $23 if they agreed to be sterilized.  The medical conditions were unsanitary, rushed and not remotely patient-centered.  And women died.

Why don't we hear more about this very real "war on women?"  Why instead are we as a nation concerned with who is going to pay for women's birth control pills, when women around the world are being mutilated and their children destroyed?  We have been silent for years as families suffer.  We turn a blind eye rather than learn what is really occurring.  It's uncomfortable to know.  But we really must ask what is really happening in China, India, Kenya and other nations.  And then we must ask what we can do to stop it. 

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