China’s forced abortions: America is missing the point


Emphasizing the wrong word in “forced abortion.”

A college student becomes impregnated by her boyfriend but desires to pursue a career instead of raising a child. “Thank goodness we have abortion for that!” American culture says. “Isn’t abortion a wonderful procedure?”

A young woman lies unconscious on a hospital bed; the mangled body of her forcibly aborted seven-month-old baby is extended beside her. Suddenly, abortion doesn’t seem quite as wonderful.

Why does the enforcement of China’s strict one-child policy cause American stomachs to churn in indignation? “Because Chinese women are being stripped of their choice,” we are told. Yet I suspect that these pregnant Chinese women are convinced that something greater than their choice is being stripped from them. I believe that the Chinese women who resist the one-child policy are fighting for more than their choice to reproduce; they are fighting for the human life already formed inside their wombs.

Feng Jianmei, a pregnant twenty-three-year-old woman, was violently dragged out of her home by Chinese officials and forced into a van. Beaten and strapped to a hospital bed, she was unable to resist the long needle injected into her abdomen, killing her seven-month old unborn daughter.

Her husband, Deng Jiyuan, was beaten by Chinese officials and forced into hiding. He and his family have been labeled as traitors by the Chinese government and are despised by their village.

At thirty-nine years old, Zhang Wen Fang was arrested by Family Planning officials. Nine months pregnant, she was taken to a hospital and subjected to induced labor. Her fierce resistance required six men to hold her down while the long needle was inserted into her abdomen. She lost consciousness shortly after her body began labor, and she awoke with her child nowhere to be seen.

The fervency with which these women resist their abortions is remarkable, even surprising. Why would they so desperately fight against officials who wield absolutely authority? These women are protecting more than their choice. They are protecting their children.

The gruesome reality of China’s forced abortions has recently garnered attention in the American public sphere, causing rising horror and indignation. Yet the larger truth of the revolting nature of abortion itself has gone unnoticed.

In response to the now-infamous picture of Fen Jianmei lying on a hospital bed with her forcibly aborted fetus beside her, Rep. Christopher H. Smith, New Jersey Republican and chairman of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on human rights, declared, “People are finally seeing the gruesome reality of China’s one-child policy.” (Emphasis mine.)

Mr. Smith, please glance at the picture again. Did you miss the mutilated body of the infant lying beside its mother? This picture whispers of the cruelty of China’s one-child policy, but it screams of the injustice of abortion. Which is more horrific? The limp body of the mother, unconscious on the hospital bed? Or the mangled body of the child lying beside her? One chest softly rises and falls with the rhythmic motion of breathing. The other set of lungs never had the chance to take a breath of air.

Yes, the forced aspect of China’s abortions is gruesome. It is heartbreaking that women are subjected to such cruel treatment and are forced to undergo the abortion procedure. But how can we forget about the other tiny person involved in abortion? For the unborn child, the abortion is always forced.

America, when will you wake up to the injustice of abortion? When will you recognize that forced abortions are wrong not solely because they are forced, but because they kill an innocent human being? When will you realize the hypocrisy of showing sympathy for women who are fighting for their unborn children’s right to life, while simultaneously fighting for the right to kill yours?

These courageous Chinese women are sending the world a powerful message as they desperately fight to save their unborn children. Their actions declare that the unborn child has value. That it should be protected. That it should be born.

They are showing the world that unborn children are worth fighting for.

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