by Steven Ertelt
August 29, 2006
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — While pro-life groups have long decried the illegal dention and sentencing of forced abortion activist Chen Guangcheng and the Bush administration has pressed for his release on three ocassions, abortion advocates have been silent. Four days after he was sentenced to four years in prison, pro-abortion groups asked for his release.
Chen brought international attention to a family planning campaign in the eastern Chinese city of Linyi.
There, local officials brutally forced more than 10,000 women to submit to abortions and sterilizations. Families were harassed and beaten, some were imprisoned and others lost jobs and civil rights until pregnant family members were produced.
The campaign was part of China’s policy allowing women and couples to have only one child and Chen was placed under house arrested for exposing it in interviews with American media.
Charged with the bogus claim of destruction of property during protests against his house arrest by supporters — and with his attorneys prevented from attending the trial — Chen was sentenced Friday to four years and four months in prison.
On Tuesday, more than 100 worldwide organizational and religious leaders, including numerous abortion advocates, signed a letter to Chinese President Hu Jintao to protest the Chen’s treatment and trial.
Coordinated by the pro-abortion group Catholics for a Free Choice, the letter asks national and local officials “to immediately begin investigative procedures into and launch legal supervision of the severe violations of the human rights of Chen Guangcheng.”
“This action against Chen is surprising in light of China’s recent improvements in law and practice, which call for non-coercive reproductive health services,” Frances Kissling, president of the group, said in comments emailed to LifeNews.com.
"International pressure — especially from those supportive of reproductive health — is essential to building Chinese resolve to respect the human rights of women regarding reproduction," Kissling added.
Signers of the letter include a who’s who of leading pro-abortion organizations.
Nancy Keenan, the president of NARAL and Nancy Northup of the pro-abortion law firm Center for Reproductive Rights signed the letter. However, it appears no representatives of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business, or the ACLU attached their names.
On an international level, Leo Bryant of the British-based international abortion business Marie Stopes International, Niall Behan of the Irish Family Planning Association, and Amy Coen of Population Action International all signed the letter.