Chen and his cause

The blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng, whom we have been blogging about, has been released and has arrived in the United States, where he will be a fellow at New York University.  Melinda Henneberger writes about the human rights issue Chen has been battling:

The day of Mei Shunping’s fifth forced abortion in China was “the saddest day of my life,’’ she told a congressional subcommittee this week.

The cause that human rights activist Chen Guangcheng has so long championed is often glossed over in this country, where we tend to focus on how cool it is that a blind guy scaled a fence and escaped his captors like some kind of action hero. But Mei spelled out the gory particulars for the House Committee on Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights.

This undated photo provided by the China Aid Association shows blind Chinese legal activist Chen Guangcheng, right, with wife Yuan Weijing and son, Chen Kerui in China. (AP)

On a monthly basis, she told those of us in the hearing room, she and all other female employees in the textile factory where she worked were subjected to humiliating physical exams to document that they weren’t pregnant; otherwise, under China’s one-child policy, they weren’t paid. And when any woman not approved for childbearing was even suspected of missing a period, co-workers were quick to inform on her, because when one became illegally pregnant, all were punished.

On the worst day of Mei’s life, not only was she physically dragged to the hospital, she said, but she collapsed in pain after complications following the procedure. She had no one to lean on, either, since her husband had been thrown in jail for arguing with the doctors: “My young son didn’t know what was happening and kept crying for his father. I didn’t know what to do and could only hold my son and cry with him. Even now, when I think of all this, my heart shudders and the pain throbs.”

via Why Chen fights, and why U.S. abortion rights supporters should care – She The People – The Washington Post.

If those who believe in abortion are really “pro-choice,” as opposed to pro-abortion, why aren’t they protesting forced abortion?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Michael B.

    Where are these US pro-choicers that support forced abortion? In one case, the woman is forced to abort a child against her will. In the pro-life case, she is forced to gestate against her will.

    I suppose a more interesting question would be: Is forcing a woman’s reproduction decisions ever moral? For example, let us for sake of argument grant the premise that if everyone in China is allowed to have as many children as they want, massive starvation will result. If there’s limited food, the government will need to decide who starves and who lives. Do the rich live? Or the well-connected? Or those who get the best jobs? Do you distribute food equally and let everyone go equally hungry? A lot of disturbing questions get raised, and one might be, “Do we let everyone have as many kids as they want?”.

  • Michael B.

    Where are these US pro-choicers that support forced abortion? In one case, the woman is forced to abort a child against her will. In the pro-life case, she is forced to gestate against her will.

    I suppose a more interesting question would be: Is forcing a woman’s reproduction decisions ever moral? For example, let us for sake of argument grant the premise that if everyone in China is allowed to have as many children as they want, massive starvation will result. If there’s limited food, the government will need to decide who starves and who lives. Do the rich live? Or the well-connected? Or those who get the best jobs? Do you distribute food equally and let everyone go equally hungry? A lot of disturbing questions get raised, and one might be, “Do we let everyone have as many kids as they want?”.

  • steve

    Maybe because, for some of them at least, it’s not about reproductive rights but population control. Some insights from a former local PP director. Is it indicative of a larger PP agenda or just one lunatic’s views? Who knows.

    http://napavalleyregister.com/news/opinion/mailbag/world-s-increasing-population-presents-today-s-real-threat/article_5745ddc0-c243-11e0-8b1b-001cc4c002e0.html

  • steve

    Maybe because, for some of them at least, it’s not about reproductive rights but population control. Some insights from a former local PP director. Is it indicative of a larger PP agenda or just one lunatic’s views? Who knows.

    http://napavalleyregister.com/news/opinion/mailbag/world-s-increasing-population-presents-today-s-real-threat/article_5745ddc0-c243-11e0-8b1b-001cc4c002e0.html

  • steve

    I guess I didn’t need to post that last message. Michael B. already beat me to the point.

  • steve

    I guess I didn’t need to post that last message. Michael B. already beat me to the point.

  • SKPeterson

    China’s policy has more to do with population control and for some of the reasons Michael B. lists @ 1. A good example of the rationale for China’s policy can be found in a gem of a book by Frank Dikotter, Mao’s Great Famine. Dikotter examines how central planning by China led to an absolute collapse of Chinese agricultural production, resulting in severe famines roughly occurring about 1960. As a result, there was widespread social unrest and collapse in the rural provinces which threatened the political control of the Communist Party. Some of this led to the political upheavals that culminated in the Cultural Revolution of the mid to late 1960′s.

    In response to these upheavals and perceived threats, China began to view population control as a means of addressing the problems of variable and/or declining agricultural production resulting from the inefficiencies of central planning. This gained added impetus when Chinese leaders began to push for greater self-sufficiency in agricultural production. While the pro-market reforms introduced by Deng led to a substantial increase in agricultural production, the government has tended to be quite conservative and has not changed its policies because of fears of repeating the unrest and upheaval of the 1960′s if there should be a widespread famine in China caused by an agricultural collapse in tandem with a burgeoning population. Essentially the continued pursuit of the one-child policy by China (and the pro-abortion politics in the West) is based simply upon anthropophobia – fear of people.

  • SKPeterson

    China’s policy has more to do with population control and for some of the reasons Michael B. lists @ 1. A good example of the rationale for China’s policy can be found in a gem of a book by Frank Dikotter, Mao’s Great Famine. Dikotter examines how central planning by China led to an absolute collapse of Chinese agricultural production, resulting in severe famines roughly occurring about 1960. As a result, there was widespread social unrest and collapse in the rural provinces which threatened the political control of the Communist Party. Some of this led to the political upheavals that culminated in the Cultural Revolution of the mid to late 1960′s.

    In response to these upheavals and perceived threats, China began to view population control as a means of addressing the problems of variable and/or declining agricultural production resulting from the inefficiencies of central planning. This gained added impetus when Chinese leaders began to push for greater self-sufficiency in agricultural production. While the pro-market reforms introduced by Deng led to a substantial increase in agricultural production, the government has tended to be quite conservative and has not changed its policies because of fears of repeating the unrest and upheaval of the 1960′s if there should be a widespread famine in China caused by an agricultural collapse in tandem with a burgeoning population. Essentially the continued pursuit of the one-child policy by China (and the pro-abortion politics in the West) is based simply upon anthropophobia – fear of people.

  • steve

    It’s just too bad the people who inverted the population pyramid dies before they could see the fruits of their labors: their narcissistic children rioting in the streets because there aren’t enough productive people left to pay for their retirement.

  • steve

    It’s just too bad the people who inverted the population pyramid dies before they could see the fruits of their labors: their narcissistic children rioting in the streets because there aren’t enough productive people left to pay for their retirement.

  • rlewer

    #1

    “forced to gestate against her will” – not unless she was raped.

    The Chinese are reaping the results of their program.
    1. a massive lack of enough females in the younger population to balance with the number of males. The same kind of thing is happening in India with their “family planning” by abortion.

    2. a massive lack of the younger population (under 30) which will include the entire working age population if it is continued.

  • rlewer

    #1

    “forced to gestate against her will” – not unless she was raped.

    The Chinese are reaping the results of their program.
    1. a massive lack of enough females in the younger population to balance with the number of males. The same kind of thing is happening in India with their “family planning” by abortion.

    2. a massive lack of the younger population (under 30) which will include the entire working age population if it is continued.


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