Friday, May 30, 2008


Shame On China

China's brutal one child policy deserves more attention

Many of those killed in the recent earthquake in China were children. Their grieving parents are making their displeasure with the government known:
Parents of the estimated 10,000 children who lost their lives in the quake have grown so enraged about collapsed schools that they have overcome their usual caution about confronting Communist Party officials. Many say they are especially upset that some schools for poor students crumbled into rubble even though government offices and more elite schools not far away survived the May 12 quake largely intact.
The government is issuing permits to parents who lost their only child in the quake so that they may have another one.

Parents need government approval, of course, because of China's one child policy -- a policy which is rigidly enforced. Maggie Gallagher takes a hard look at this policy, noting why the cause of Tibet and the repression of political activists receive so much more attention in the West than the plight of women who endure forced abortions. She describes one woman's experience:
Company officials tried to get Mahire to see reason: "'If you don't do what we want, we'll suspend your wages, cancel your bonuses, levy a 2,500 RMB penalty on you, suspend all benefits you are enjoying now. And your child will never have a residence permit. He'll be a nobody.'"

This is what a "non-forced abortion" in China looks like.

In the end, three company officials showed up at Mahire's house with a Nissan van and drove her to the hospital. When she saw the needle they were about to insert into her belly, "I told the obstetrician, 'Doctor, don't give me the shot. I want to go home. I want my child!' ... But the two nurses started pressing my arms with all their might. One of the nurses said ferociously, 'Who told you to get pregnant! Who told you not to act according to the planned birth policy!'"
As Gallagher points out, the government owns everything in China, woman's bodies included.


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