Human Rights Activist: Forced Abortion Policy Leads to 23 Million Abortions a Year in China

Li Yan (L), pregnant with her second child, lies on a bed as her daughter places her head on her mother's stomach in Hefei, Anhui province February 20, 2014. REUTERS/China Daily
REUTERS/China Daily

WASHINGTON D.C. – As some people protested on International Women’s Day last Wednesday in support of abortion, one human rights activist spoke at the Heritage Foundation about the staggering 23 million abortions, many forced, in China in 2015.

“It is astonishing and heartbreaking that for every abortion in the United States, there are 23 million abortions in China — and we will never know how many of these are forced,” Reggie Littlejohn, founder and president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, told Breitbart News.

In her remarks at Heritage, Littlejohn said that the much-touted announcement in 2016 that the Communist Chinese government had changed its longstanding one-child policy to a two-child policy does not mean that forced abortions are no longer taking place, including sex-selection abortions of girls in a culture that favors male offspring.

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” Littlejohn said. “The entire infrastructure of coercion under the one-child policy remains fully in force under the two-child policy.”

Although Chinese officials report that 13 million abortions took place in China in 2015, the U.S. State Department reported that the number is likely 10 million more.

That amounts to 63,013 abortions a day, 2,625 abortions an hour, or 43 per minute, according to the number of abortions given by the State Department.

Littlejohn, who with her husband is raising two Chinese girls whose father had been repeatedly imprisoned for pro-democracy activities, also runs the Save the Girls Campaign in China. The campaign helps women financially so they can continue their pregnancies and give birth to their daughters.

“Because of son preference, second daughters will remain at risk – so our Save a Girl Campaign remains important,” Littlejohn told Breitbart News. “We cannot give up the fight for the women and families of China, until every woman is free from the threat of coercion and every baby girl is free from the threat of sex-selection abortion or abandonment.”

Littlejohn said that, according to 2015 State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices released in 2016, the estimated number of abortions in a year has increased from 13 to 23 million a year.

In the past, the Chinese government reported 13 million abortions a year, but the State Department said the number of abortions is higher because the government only uses registered medical clinics for its statistics and many abortions take place in unregistered medical clinics.

“A coercive birth-limitation policy that, despite the lifting of one-child-per-family restrictions, in some cases resulted in forced abortion (sometimes at advanced stages of pregnancy),” the State Department report states.


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