China’s announcement Thursday that it is “abandoning” its draconian one-child policy was met with skepticism among critics, who contend that it substantially changes nothing, since the communist government still asserts absolute control over families and will continue to enforce its will with coercion.
“Instituting a two-child policy will not end forced abortion, gendercide or family planning regulations in China,” prominent women’s rights activist Reggie Littlejohn told Breitbart News Friday.
Ms. Littlejohn, president and founder of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, called China’s announcement “misleading,” since even under the new policy “the government is setting a limit on children, and enforcing this limit coercively,” she told Breitbart. “Coercion is the core of the policy.”
“Couples will still have to have a birth permit for the first and the second child, or they may be subject to forced abortion,” she said.
Long denounced by activists for its flagrant abuses of the most basic human rights, China is attempting to cash in on an economically motivated decision to nudge public opinion in its favor without any change in its methods.
The reason given for this policy adjustment is entirely demographic, Littlejohn noted, “to balance population development and address the challenge of an ageing population.”
“Noticeably absent from the Chinese Communist party’s announcement is any mention of human rights,” she said. “Even though it will now allow all couples to have a second child, China has not promised to end forced abortion, forced sterilization, or forced contraception.”
Bill Donohue of the Catholic League noted that the new policy does not eliminate forced abortions, but simply tweaks the point at which they will be applied. “Which means that the government will have to continue its practice of monitoring a woman’s menstrual cycle and fining those who are pregnant with their third child. If they are unable to pay, they will be dragged to a local clinic and injected with a lethal drug,” he said.
Many have seen a connection between China’s astronomical suicide rate among women—three times higher than for males—and its despotic reproductive regulations.
Writing in The New York Times, Chinese author Ma Jian described the “horror” Chinese women face, noting that virtually every one of the pregnant women with whom he had spoken “had suffered a mandatory abortion.”
In one horrendous case, a woman pregnant with her second child was dragged to the local clinic, bound to a surgical table, and injected in her abdomen with a lethal drug.
“For two days she writhed on the table, her hands and feet still bound with rope, waiting for her body to eject the murdered baby,” Ma wrote. “In the final stage of labor, a male doctor yanked the dead fetus out by the foot, then dropped it into a garbage can. She had no money for a cab. She had to hobble home, blood dripping down her legs and staining her white sandals red.”
Unfortunately, according to critics, the Communist Party’s recent policy change will do nothing to lessen this brutality. “A two-child policy will not end any of the human rights abuses caused by the one-child policy,” Littlejohn said.
She also rued the fact that the modified policy will do nothing to end gendercide, either, carried out through the sex-selective abortion of baby girls. She noted that an estimated 37 million Chinese men “will never marry because their future wives were terminated before they were born.”
“The one-child policy does not need to be modified,” Littlejohn told Breitbart. “It needs to be abolished.”
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome.