Biden Backtrack on China’s One-Child Policy Insufficient

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 25, 2011   |   10:56AM   |   Beijing, China

A spokeswoman for pro-abortion Vice-President Joe Biden may have attempted to walk back comments he made where he failed to criticize the one-child policy in China, but leading pro-life and human rights advocates say it’s not sufficient.

As reported, Kendra Barkoff told media outlets in an email that Biden and the Obama administration strongly oppose the policy — but the comments are a departure from Biden’s speech, in which he said he would “not second guess” the policy and “fully understands” why China would implement it.

“The Obama Administration strongly opposes all aspects of China’s coercive birth limitation policies, including forced abortion and sterilization,” Barkoff told the conservative news outlet. “The Vice President believes such practices are repugnant.”

That’s not good enough for Reggie Littlejohn, the president of the human rights group Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, which has worked directly to help the victims of the policy, who have suffered from forced abortions and sterilizations, home confinement and imprisonment, and loss of other rights and freedoms.

Littlejohn tells LifeNews the statement from the Biden spokeswoman is “progress” because it shows “the Obama administration has now publicly admitted it knows that forced abortion and forced sterilization are official “policies” of the Chinese Communist Party, not random acts carried out by overzealous officials.” However, she doesn’t think it’s the case that the Obama administration “strongly opposes” these practices.

“Actions speak louder than words. If the Obama administration “strongly opposes” forced abortion in China, then why did they restore funding to UNFPA,” she asks. The United Nations Family Planning agency has been found to be complicit in the one-child policy in China, yet the Obama administration renewed the taxpayer funding for the agency President George W. Bush revoked.

“In 2001, the U.S. cut funding to UNFPA because an investigation, headed by then Secretary of State Colin Powell, found that UNFPA was complicit in the coercive implementation of China’s One Child Policy,” she said. “In 2008, the U.S. State Department reaffirmed that determination, and yet the Obama administration resumed funding in 2009. President Obama’s FY 2012 budget requests $47 million for UNFPA.”

“The current administration also funds the International Planned Parenthood Federation. The IPPF works hand in hand with the coercive Chinese Communist population control machine,” Littlejohn asserts. The IPPF website states, “The China Family Planning Association (CFPA) plays a very important role in China’s family planning programme. It supports the present family planning policy of the government.”

“In China, a woman’s body is not her own. It is the domain of the State. To fund organizations that work hand in glove with China’s “womb police” does not constitute “strong opposition” to forced abortion and forced sterilization. Rather it constitutes complicity,” the human rights advocate says. “If the Obama administration is sincere in saying it “strongly opposes . . . forced abortion and sterilization,” then it will either insist that UNFPA and IPPF cease operation in China, or it will defund these organizations.”

UPDATE:  Speaker John Boehner, according to CNS News, has also responded to the Biden walk back and said it is not sufficient because of the UNFPA funding.

“Until these two basic actions have been taken, the effect of the Biden incident is that the perpetrators of the one-child policy – the people with the power and authority to reverse it, and end the forced sterilizations and coercive abortions the policy has spawned – have been given further reason to believe that the United States government does not object to the one-child policy and doesn’t mind if it continues,” he said.

Penny Nance, the CEO and President of Concerned Women for America, a pro-life organization, agrees with Littlejohn.

“We’re not in grade school where the Vice President can just take back his affirmative comments made in ‘full understanding’ of China’s brutal one-child policy,” she told LifeNews. “He was very clear in his support of the policy, where the Chinese government uses forced and coerced abortion to enforce the law.”

“Biden once again enjoys his favorite pastime of talking out of both sides of his mouth, but this time it is to the detriment of the millions of unborn Chinese girls killed by abortion and their mothers and fathers who suffer under the reprehensible policy,” Nance said.

Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest joined them, and said that second-guessing a policy as gruesome as forced abortion is “a moral imperative.” She told LifeNews she urges the Obama Administration to engage the Chinese government on the “deadly human toll that forced abortion is causing for millions of families.”

“The Obama Administration should engage the Chinese government on the need to end such a gruesome practice as forced abortion,” Yoest said. “Already the country is suffering from the impact of the lack of girls that has been widely reported, along with the unintended economic consequences that the Vice President spoke about during his visit to China. This policy is morally, economically and socially harmful. The Obama Administration should second-guess such a policy and speak out about the human rights violations committed in its name.”