“Those people shouldn’t be allowed to breed.”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that. There was a time when I would even have said it. Now, when I hear it, I shudder, because the seemingly offhand, hyperbolic nature of this comment hides a dark kernel of truth.
If you hang around the fairly young and more-or-less “educated” in urban and suburban America, you know that in between trips to Whole Foods for European beer and attending indie concerts, they manage to find time to furrow their brows over California rolls about “overpopulation.” The same people who will stroke their sparse, ironic beards and say, “Look, man, we’re just running out of resources” are usually the ones who will toss out a “Those people shouldn’t be allowed to breed” whenever they witness behavior that is not to their liking.
Sometimes, such as when a cart filled with half-sleepy, half-insane toddlers and an unconscious infant is seen haunting the aisles of Walmart at approximately midnight, the phraseology might be more along the lines of, “How come you need a license to drive a car but not to have children?” This line is always uttered with the appropriate look of droopy-eyed cynicism and a feeling of self-satisfaction at one’s own cleverness.
Since the question – “How come you need to a license to drive a car but not to have children?” – has been asked by countless Really Smart People who made an ironic trip to Walmart to buy accessories for an ’80s party and got stuck behind an insufficiently well-behaved family, let’s answer their question, shall we? I mean, isn’t it a valid question? Why is it that you need a license to drive a car but not to have children?
The answer: Feng Jianmei.
Take a good hard look at Feng Jianmei, folks, because in a few years you will start hearing about her kind dwindling. She is a healthy Chinese woman of child-bearing age. One day she will be a hot commodity to the millions of Chinese men who survived their country’s rampant gendercide and are looking around for all the wives who didn’t make it out of the womb. But that’s one day. Right now Feng Jianmei is quite a nuisance, because Feng Jianmei had the audacity to go and get herself pregnant. Twice.
China’s hip, enlightened one child policy – the one that’s going to make sure no one in China ever goes hungry or has to look at gross, unwieldy five-person families in chain supermarkets, the one college students will admit “kind of makes sense” after their third Stella Artois – meant that Feng Jianmei and her family were told by “local birth control authorities” that, since they already had a five-year-old child, in order to proceed with the second pregnancy, they would need to pay a fine of about $6,300. Because her mother-in-law was undergoing extensive cancer treatment, Feng Jianmei couldn’t afford the fine. So about 20 people from the “family planning department” showed up, arrested her, put her in a van, drove her to a hospital, beat her, would not let her family see her, made her sign a document while blindfolded, restrained her, and injected her with the chemicals that made her give birth to her dead daughter 36 hours later.
She was seven months pregnant.
(Click here for an unblurred photo of Feng Jianmei with her daughter immediately post-abortion. The image is graphic.)
In case you ever start to get warm or even dismissive feelings about Communism – that it’s something from the past we don’t need to worry about, that it’s the philosophical refuge of adorable hippie college professors with unkempt hair and interesting ideas, or that it “totally works on paper” and “just hasn’t been implemented properly yet” – please think of Feng Jianmei and the totalitarian horror that is Communist China. This is where it always ends up.
But back to the matter at hand: Feng Jianmei’s baby was murdered by Chinese authorities. It’s that simple. The government has now “apologized,” which I’m sure is terribly comforting to the family of the dead baby, and is holding three officials responsible. This is all for show. These things happen in China all the time; this particular case just managed to bust through the state stranglehold on the media and spark a public outrage that even China can’t ignore. The embattled blind refugee lawyer Chen Guangcheng can tell you all about this; he made himself an enemy of the state defending poor Chinese women who had been forcibly sterilized or forced to abort.
Talk radio host Mark Davis of Dallas/Ft. Worth’s KSKY-AM said it best this morning when he described a Chinese woman being forced from her home into a hospital where she was forced to abort her baby: “Or, as they call it in China, Thursday.”
I won’t bother arguing overpopulation in this article. I’ll let you look into it yourself and decide whether it’s a valid concern or a hyped-up plate of steaming bull corn that is being used to scare people into accepting totalitarian control over their lives. Three guesses what my opinion is! But I will say this: the United States of America just had the opportunity to ban sex-selective abortion, and we failed to do it. Why?
Now, if you know me, you know I’m not into big government as a rule. But there are a few very specific things government is supposed to protect, and innocent life is one of them. We have banned trans fats, sugary drinks, driving without a seat belt, cigarette ads on TV, smoking in restaurants, and all different kinds of diet pills, but we just can’t abide the intrusion of letting government declare it wrong to kill a baby before it’s born based on its gender.
Think about that. Soon it may be illegal in New York to sell a 20-oz. Coca-Cola, but it is legal to abort your child because it’s a girl and you wanted a boy. Let that sink in for a second. You might need to go get a hug from someone. I will wait.
We are headed down a slope so slippery that if you close your eyes for just a second you can pretend it’s a Slip ‘n’ Slide and really enjoy the ride. But it’s not a fun outdoor activity for lower-middle-class children who can’t afford a pool. (Thanks, Mom!) It’s the feeling of the U.S. and the world headed toward a place where the vague idea of being enlightened and smart – of getting to ask, “How come you need a license to drive a car but not to have kids?” – is more important than the actual reality of protecting human life.
Oh, and by the way, there is a simple answer to that annoying question, in case you ever hear it muttered behind you in line at Walmart. You can turn around, look the offender in the eye, and say, “Because driving a car is a privilege. Having children is a human right.”