Forced Abortion Incident in China Proves Pro-Choice Groups Are Pro-Abortion

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 19, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Forced Abortion Incident in China Proves Pro-Choice Groups Are Pro-Abortion

by Steven Ertelt
November 19, 2008 Note: Steven Ertelt is the editor of

For years the "pro-choice" mantra has gone something like this: abortion should be between a woman and her doctor, we can’t tell women what to do with their bodies, women have a right to choose, etc. Yet, a recent forced abortion incident in China proves so-called "pro-choice" advocates are nothing more than pro-abortion.

Forced abortions in China are nothing new. Under the guise of its coercive one-child family planning policy, women and children in China have faced persecution for decades.

Mothers who become pregnant with a second child face not only abortion but the threat of permanent sterilization.

Repeat offenders face potential job loss, imprisonment, and harsh labor. Families who help their daughters, sisters and friends escape prosecution are placed under house arrest or sometimes lose their homes, careers, and may be beaten by local officials.

Arzigul Tursun and her family understand the length to which the oppressive Chinese population control regime will go to keep to its limited birth quotas.

Six months pregnant, Tursun found herself captive at a local hospital with the impending threat of a forced abortion.

Her husband said officials in their village of Yining learned of the pregnancy and warned them that their property would be confiscated if Tursun did not have an abortion.

The incident received international attention and outrage from pro-life advocates.

Rep. Chris Smith hurriedly contacted the Chinese ambassador to the United States and pleaded with him to intervene and stop the abortion. He called the U.S. ambassador to China to find some way to help Tursun.

Human rights groups began speaking out on her behalf and giving interviews to media outlets. They dispatched local supporters to northwest China to help Tursun’s family.

But what about groups like Planned Parenthood, NARAL, Emily’s List and others who are "pro-choice" on abortion and supposedly represent women? They did nothing.

None of the major abortion advocacy groups have issued as much as a press release backing Tursun’s right to keep her baby let alone conducted interviews on her behalf. There is no indication they lobbied American or Chinese officials, or started petition drives or other campaigns on her behalf.

A search of major news web sites and their own web sites reveal feminist groups like NOW have done nothing to speak out on behalf of a woman who is threatened with a forced abortion.

The pro-abortion web site Feministe is the only one to have noticed the forced abortion situation, but the author "Jill" spends half the post bashing pro-life advocates and chiding one Tursun supporter for suggesting that Chinese officials let another family adopt her baby instead of making her have an abortion.

These obviously pro-abortion groups had plenty of time and money to make sure pro-abortion presidential candidate Barack Obama won, but now appear to be too busy to stand up for women whose lives are threatened by abortions they don’t want.

Equally telling: Congressman Smith and Rep. Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania, the only two members of Congress to stand up for Tursun and work within the governmental system to support her release, are pro-life.

Searches on the web sites of leading Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and others reveal nary a word about Tursun’s case. There’s nothing from top pro-abortion lawmakers like Carolyn Maloney or Barbara Boxer either.

Tursun has since been released and the forced abortion won’t go through — but the silence from the "pro-choice" camp remains.

The old adage that actions speak louder than words applies to inaction as well.

This isn’t the first time I’ve highlighted the inaction on forced abortions on the part of the so-called "pro-choice" movement. I wrote about this problem in September 2004 on National Review and nothing appears to have changed.

If anything, abortion advocates want to make the problem worse.

Egged on by Planned Parenthood and NARAL, Obama has promised to restore funding to the UNFPA, the UN agency that has worked hand-in-hand with Chinese family planning officials.

Not only do Obama and his pro-abortion friends ignore the plight of women like Tursun, they’re willing to send our money to the UN group that gives the people who imprisoned her in a hospital for a forced-late term abortion a pat on the back.

Enough with the "pro-choice" rhetoric. We don’t buy it, women like Arzigul Tursun don’t buy it, and it’s becoming more and more offensive to those of us who know better.

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