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Deadly cooperation: Planned Parenthood and China’s One-Child Policy

As the saying goes, “where there is smoke, there is fire.” Similarly, where there is abortion, there is Planned Parenthood – even when it’s forced abortion.

Last week, a graphic image of a young woman lying next to her dead daughter sparked widespread outrage against China’s infamous one-child policy. Feng Jianmei of China’s rural Shaanxi province was brutally forced to abort her 7-month-old baby after failing to pay a hefty fine to family planning officials. NBC News reports:

She was blindfolded, thrown on a bed, and forced to sign a document that she couldn’t read with the blindfold still on her eyes. Then two shots were injected into her belly. Thirty hours later, on the morning June 4, she gave birth to a dead baby girl.

This is not an isolated instance. Numerous cases of forced abortion in China have recently been brought to public attention, and Chinese law allows for the abuse. The advocacy group All Girls Allowed explains:

Mandatory abortion, which is often referred to as “remedial measures” (bujiu cuoshi) in government reports, is endorsed explicitly as an official policy instrument in the regulations of 18 of China’s 31 provincial-level jurisdictions.

One might expect action to be taken against this barbaric policy from a self-declared champion of choice and women’s rights like Planned Parenthood. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Though the organization has condemned the abuse of women like Feng Jianmei when popular in the United States, it has partnered with the culprits at the international level.

Yes, you read that right. Planned Parenthood is partially to blame for Feng Jianmei’s abuse. Get out your notebook, pull out your magnifying glass, and let’s do some detective work.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the Planned Parenthood branch that we are most familiar with, is one of many members of International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). Since 1983, IPPF has operated in China through its official member organization, The China Family Planning Association (CFPA). CFPA works with the Chinese government and made clear its purpose in a statement released at the founding of the organization, saying that “[t]he association will implement government population control policies.”

How does this relate to Feng Jianmei? On the website of The China Family Planning Association is a drop-down menu linking visitors to CFPA regional offices. Pressing the button for the province of Shaanxi will take visitors directly to the government website for the Family Planning Commission of Shaanxi – the government entity responsible for Feng’s forced abortion. 

Without being able to read Chinese or hop on a plane to investigate, it is unclear what CFPA’s cooperation with this organization entails. At the very least, however, CFPA maintains a relationship with this government entity and refers to it as one of its own offices. (The button linking to the website is labeled “Our Offices.”) Planned Parenthood must give account for these alarming connections.

As if this partnership isn’t infuriating enough, this is not Planned Parenthood’s first strike. In a 2009 interview with China’s Xinhua News Agency, former IPPF director-general Gill Greer praised China’s population policies, saying the policy helped China’s economy and alleviated problems of overpopulation. Planned Parenthood has also openly stated support for China’s one-child policy, despite its egregious human rights violations. While describing its operations in China, International Planned Parenthood Federation stated:

The China Family Planning Association (CFPA) plays a very important role in China’s family planning programme.  It supports the present family planning policy of the government, which is appropriate for the present national situation.

How dare Planned Parenthood call itself a defender choice, yet support this atrocious policy? China’s one-child policy is the antithesis of choice. The policy strips families of their ability to plan parenthood, and forced abortion robs children of a lifetime of choices. When Feng Jianmei was blindfolded and abused, why didn’t her choice matter?

In the midst of Live Action’s recent investigations of gendercide in America, Bill O’Reilly was criticized for equating Planned Parenthood in America to China. Media Matters, Daily Kos, and others attacked O’Reilly for concluding:

Are we now China in this country? If Planned Parenthood is advising women to abort because of gender choice, then we are China. And you should remember that the next time a politician or famous person endorses Planned Parenthood.

O’Reilly’s conclusion was not only accurate, but too kind. Planned Parenthood does not limit itself to mimicking China in the United States; it supports the human rights abuses abroad that it so wishes to publicly distance itself from at home.

Planned Parenthood is not like China; Planned Parenthood is China.

Planned Parenthood’s calls for choice are a sham. Empty rhetoric is no consolation to Feng Jianmei and the countless other victims of China’s one-child policy. If Planned Parenthood truly believes in women’s rights, let it take action against China’s one-child policy rather than partner with the abuse.

For additional information regarding China’s one-child policy, check out Women’s Rights Without Frontiers and All Girls Allowed.

  • Marshmellows

    Sad.

  • Stacy

    A well written,and persuasive article. However, I can’t help feeling that a giant leap has been taken in directly linking Planned Parenthood’s involvement with an international association to this atrocious act. That would be the same as linking you as an intelligent, passionate prolife advocate with the radical prolife factions that bomb abortion clinics and murder physicians that provide this service.

    No matter which way you spin Planned Parenthood’s activities in Family Planning, they provide a service that is legal and a choice that every woman is granted by the government. If you want abortions banned, then focus your energies where it needs to go, namely changing the policies of the government that allows them. At the same time develop strong and effective social programs and policies to support the increased population within the country and the orphanages, and the foster care system

    • ElbethL

      First, I fail to see any giant leap taken anywhere in the article.  LeFever does not simply say, “Planned Parenthood is responsible for  Feng Jianmei’s forced abortion.”  She says, very clearly and unambiguously, “Planned Parenthood is connected to Feng Jianmei’s forced abortion IN THIS MANNER AND THROUGH THESE ORGANIZATIONS.”  She’s not drawing conclusions out of thin air, she shows you the process.  If you think the conclusion is wrong, point out where the process goes astray.  Dismissing it just because it feels too outrageous is no response at all.  Some things are outrageous and it’s perfectly right to say so in exactly so many words.

      Second, pointing out the horrors carried out by Planned Parenthood and with which they are associated is not simply a logical action for pro-lifers to undertake, it is part of the campaign to end abortion.  And it makes sense for it to be part of that campaign.  Social pressure on people who commit unjust acts is how social change happens.  It worked for Alice Paul, it worked for Martin Luther King Jr., and it’s working for pro-lifers.  There is every reason to call Planned Parenthood, and their political lobby, out for the awful things they do, both in the US and abroad.  And, as I’m sure people have pointed out many times on this site, just because something is legal, that doesn’t make it right.

      • just Runner

        “She’s not drawing conclusions out of thin air, she shows you the process.” Well her process is bias. Therefore, it is flawed(i.e.wrong) The giant leap is connecting the “China Family Planning Association” to the “Planned Parenthood Federation of America” by way of the fact that they both belong to the same international group the “International Planned Parenthood Federation”. OK. That’s like saying the United Kingdom is same as Australia because they are both in the United Nations.

        • ElbethL

          It’s more like saying the United Kingdom is connected to Australia because they’re both part of the Commonwealth.  Which they both are.  It isn’t “bias” to connect Planned Parenthood to International Planned Parenthood and through this to another IPPF arm, specifically the China Family Planning Association.  They are both affiliates of the IPPF.  She doesn’t, at any point, allege that the two affiliates are working in concert beyond that connection (e.g., PPFA sending money/supplies to CFPA or vice versa), but as affiliates of the same parent organization, it is perfectly reasonable to assume some policy similarities from one group to the other.

          Like, for example, support for the One Child policy and for what happened to Feng Jianmei.  Because, make no mistake about it, to support one is to support the other.  And, as the article points out, PPFA supports the One Child policy, as does CFPA, and the parent organization of both, the IPPF.

          That these organizations are related, share common ideals, and work for common goals is not “bias.”  It is simple fact.

          • just Runner

             So you are saying the UK is the same as AUS because they are in the UN? OK. They are both under the Commonwealth. That’s not what I asked. So, are Pakistan and Afghanistan the same because they both belong to the UN?

          • ElbethL

            That is very clearly NOT what I said at all.  Read my comment a few more times and try again.

          • just Runner

            I wasn’t commenting on your comment.. I was commenting on the article. She calls them the SAME, which they are clearly NOT. I don’t don’t need to re-read anything. I didn’t say/type anything sassy. I would appreciate the courtesy returned. Also, Lucy does not believe in choice, therefore she is bias. If you don’t believe me look it up.

          • CARMEL350

            They are the same, otherwise PP would be fighting for the women rights who are “forced into abortion”, because isn’t that what they claim they do, stick up for women and the rights of women?

  • Ldericson

    Stacy, please specifically point out where Ms. LeFever made this “giant leap”? I don’t see it anywhere in the above article! As far as “radical pro-life factions that bomb abortion clinics & murder physicians that provide this service”….give me a break! There are no “factions”. The people (lunatics) that do these atrocious acts are not connected with large groups….they are singular events made by people who have mental problems. No group is associated with them in any way! And every single nationally known pro-life group has publicly stated that they strongly & vehemently condemn these acts (of bombing abortion clinics & killing doctors who perform abortions).

    • just Runner

      “The people (lunatics) that do these atrocious acts are not connected with large groups..” You mean a group like the church or their respective religion? Nawwww, no connection AT ALL.

      • http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger

        Oh, so it’s the churches who condone anti-abortion violence, is it? Well, then, suppose you identify a pro-violence church or two for us…….

        • just Runner

          …I didn’t say any CHURCH condones anything. Well, they may, but not publicly anyway. Just stating that the “lunatics” are connected to one another thru their church or respective religion. You know if we would just rid ourselves of the Root of all Evil(religion), maybe we would have less conflict and strife in this world. Spirituality is the key.

          • http://twitter.com/CalFreiburger Calvin Freiburger

            But it was your clear implication that the churches had something to do with their violence. Otherwise, your comment was about as relevant as saying the lunatics are “connected” to the Wal-Marts they frequent. But, now that you’ve outed yourself as a religion-hating fanatic, that tells the rest of us everything we need to know about where you’re coming from.

          • just Runner

            She said there was no “connection”. I connected them. You can say it’s irrelevant all you would like, but that doesn’t not make my statement any less true. Or, her point any more so, for that matter.Also, I don’t hate anyone. Shows how much you know about me. I was raised Catholic. Luckily, I learned how to open my eyes. I read up on the history of the various religions. Now I am free of the bonds of the true false god. Religion is the to control the masses. If you are a religious person, I apologize if you took what I said as a attack on you personally, or otherwise. That was not my intent. Have a nice day.

          • CARMEL350

            I am a catholic as well, nobody ever controlled me, maybe it was your “lunatic” parents!

          • CARMEL350

            So, as long as your atheist your perfect?

      • CARMEL350

        So are there any groups you are associated with, like say boy scouts, PTA, military, law enforcement, big brothers etc..?