On Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) blasted China’s human rights record and asked for unanimous consent to rename the plaza in front of the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C. as “Liu Xiaobo Plaza,” after the Nobel Peace Prize winner imprisoned on charges of inciting state subversion.
Despite China’s recent announcement that it was “abandoning” its longstanding one-child policy, critics have been quick to note that China is not abandoning anything and that the cosmetic change in policy signals no real change whatsoever in the way the Communist Party will continue to exercise despotic control over family life and reproduction, including through forced abortions and sterilizations.
In speaking of the policy on the Senate floor Wednesday, Cruz had a poster-size photo brought out showing a woman with a dead child next to her on a hospital bed.
“I want to talk to you about Feng Jianmei,” Cruz said. “PRC officials forced Feng Jianmei, who was seven months pregnant with her second daughter, to undergo an abortion. While her husband Deng Jiyuan was at work, five family planning officials abducted Ms. Feng on June 2nd, 2012. When she couldn’t pay the fine of 40,000 renminbi, they restrained her and forcibly aborted her daughter.”
As Feng’s husband recounted:
At the hospital they held her down. They covered her head with a pillowcase. She couldn’t do anything because they were restraining her. The so-called medics forced her to ‘sign’ an abortion consent form by inking her thumb and pressing it against the paper. Then they proceeded to inject toxins into the brain of her unborn daughter.
After the injection, Jianmei suffered excruciating contractions until 3am on June 4th. Then having received no anesthesia she gave birth to her deceased child. Jianmei said, “I could feel the baby jumping around inside me all the time. But then she went still. It was much more painful than my first childbirth. The baby was lifeless. She was all purple and blue.”
In an act of heartlessness that is difficult to comprehend, Cruz said, the so-called doctors who performed this abortion left the lifeless body of Feng’s seven-month-old baby on her bed beside her, leaving a bereaved mother with nothing other than the sight of what could have been.
Cruz said that Jianmei’s father-in-law rushed to the hospital but family planning officials prevented him from seeing Jianmei until after the abortion. After seeing her mother for the first time after her forced abortion, “Feng’s eldest daughter innocently inquired, ‘What happened to your tummy? Where did the baby go?’” Cruz said.
The senator also recounted that Reggie Littlejohn, a world-renowned human rights activist who broke the story of Feng in the United States, stated in the wake of the news: “This is an outrage. No legitimate government would commit or tolerate such an act.”
Cruz said that China is among the leading nations in suicide rates as well as the only nation where more women commit suicide than men. A large contributing factor to this “morose distinction” is the totalitarian one-child policy, Cruz said.
According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, under China’s draconian population control measures, “unimaginable numbers of girls are secretly aborted or killed in infancy every year by parents seeking boys, skewing the sex ratio dramatically.”
Sen. Diane Feinstein opposed Cruz in his proposal to rename the Washington, D.C. plaza, to which Cruz replied: “It saddens me that in the face of unspeakable brutality and evil, that the Democratic senator chooses to align herself with the Communist party dictators rather than a Nobel peace laureate.”
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome