Tuesday, 25 June 2013

New Campaign in China Forcing IUDs, Sterilization on Women, Report Charges

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Forced “family planning” is in full swing in China, with a recent report by the Texas-based watchdog group ChinaAid revealing that the city of Huizhou in the southern China Guangdong Province has launched a campaign aimed at reducing the number of births in the city of four and one-half million residents.

According to ChinaAid, the new initiative requires “women who already had a child to be fitted with an IUD, while those with two children had to undergo a tubal ligation [sterilization].” Women who comply “within a certain time frame would receive a financial reward,” ChinaAid reported, citing a government announcement posted throughout the city and online. “Meanwhile, those who did not comply would not be issued certificates by the family planning departments when their children are to enroll in school, social security departments will not process applications for social security services, hospitals will not issue relevant certifications, and the local government will refuse to handle all related services for them.”

According to some local residents monitoring the campaign, “Huizhou's performance record in family planning is poor (birth rate is too high and the number of abortions and sterilizations too low), hence this wave of family planning measures,” reported ChinaAid. Further, Huizhou is apparently not unique in imposing the policy. “Information from other sources indicate that similar birth control requirements are being imposed on women in other provinces as well,” reported ChinaAid. “On the government website for Fuzhou, Fujian province, a commenter suggested the same measure [was] already in place in Huizhou: that documents showing the mother's use of IUD be presented at the time of applying for household registration for a newborn.”

Similarly, a local newspaper in Hainan, a small island province south of Guangdong, “reported on June 4 that good family planning work had resulted in dropping birth rates in reclaimed land areas,” noted ChinaAid, “and so the Health Bureau under the Agriculture and Land Reclamation Administration had been honored by the provincial Office of the Leading Group for Family Planning with the designation of an 'advanced unit' for 'comprehensive management of population and family planning.'”

Steven Mosher of the Population Research Institute (PRI), a pro-life network that monitors the effects of China's notorious one-child policy, noted that decades of forced abortion and sterilization have placed China in a serious situation. As a result of its self-destructive population policies, China “faces a below replacement birth rate, an aging workforce, and weakened political legitimacy,” he wrote in a recent commentary.

Mosher noted that the latest census data suggests China is in the midst of a “demographic crisis.” Fertility in China is at an all-time low, and the children who are being born are disproportionately male. He noted that for a population to replace itself, each woman needs to have one daughter who lives to childbearing age. “But on average, Chinese women bear only 0.69 daughters, which is well below replacement,” Mosher wrote.

“Decades of sex-selective abortion have produced an enormous 'gender gap' in China,” Mosher continued. “There are now tens of millions more men than women in that country, a ticking time bomb that will either explode inward into internal unrest, or outward into external aggression in the years to come.”

Mosher and PRI have joined with ChinaAid and Chinese pro-life dissident Chen Guangcheng to publicize the seriousness of China's policy. “Morality aside, China’s policy no longer makes demographic, economic or political sense,” he wrote, adding that “400 million forced abortions and sterilizations is enough. Chinese women, children, and families have suffered enough over the past 33 years. It is time to end the misguided one-child policy.”

In related news, the Beijing government recently banned individuals and groups from privately adopting any of the tens of thousands of infants who are abandoned each year by Chinese parents horrified of being discovered with more than the one child allotted by the communist government. According to the Associated Press, China's Ministry of Civil Affairs announced June 18 that people who find an abandoned child must immediately inform government authorities.

“China's adoption law forbids baby trafficking and trafficking abandoned babies in the name of adoption, but doesn't mention whether individuals are allowed to keep abandoned babies,” reported AP. The new rule forbids keeping such babies, stipulating that “people wanting to adopt must go through official channels and meet requirements, which under Chinese law include being healthy, over 30, and childless,” reported AP.

The AP report cited a Chinese population expert who said that some 200,000 babies — mostly girls — are abandoned each year in the country, by parents who want the one child they are allowed to have be a boy.

Photo of an X-ray of an IUD implanted in a woman

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