China Says Women’s Rights Improving, Forced Abortions Refute Claims

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 15, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

China Says Women’s Rights Improving, Forced Abortions Refute Claims Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 15
, 2007

Beijing, China ( — China is trying to shed its image as a desolate place for human rights and the rights of women in advance of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. The Asian nation said Tuesday that women’s rights are advancing but recent forced abortion campaigns contradict their claims.

Huang Qingyi, vice chairwoman of the State Council’s National Working Committee on Children and Women, defended China’s record.

"They consider that China has achieved obvious results in promoting women’s development and protecting their rights and is a model for other countries to use," Huang told a news conference about the UN recognizing advances China has made.

"A succession of newly enacted and revised laws … have all underlined the protection of rights and interests of women and children," added Huang, according to a Reuters report.

Huang contends that the position of women in politics is improving and that governments across the globe should follow China’s lead. However, no woman has made it onto the country’s all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee.

But all of the claims of progress fall short of reality when it comes to the treatment of women in China.

The Asian nation instituted a one-child family planning policy in the 1970s that limits couples to one child and has led to forced abortions and human rights abuses.

Last month, officials in Baise City forced a total of 61 women and their unborn children have become victims of abortion because the area had failed to meet the nation’s family planning goals.

The Xinhua News Agency, which is the official news outlet run by the Communist government, reported that the Baise City government last year missed its family planning target by a fraction of 1%.

Human rights groups, relying on eyewitness accounts, said that women in Guangxi province were forced to have abortions as late as seven and nine months into pregnancy.

Chinese officials can claim there is progress for women because they refuse to acknowledge that forced abortions are occurring there. A Baise City family planning official named Nong told National Public Radio that forcing women to undergo abortions against their will would be against the law.

He claimed that an investigation by officials into the reports had already been concluded and that officials determined the reports of forced abortions were fabricated.

China has also jailed leading dissidents such as Chen Guangcheng, Mao Hengfeng, and others who have protested the forced abortion policy.