China’s brutal one child policy and its gross violations of human rights, particularly those of women subjected to forced abortions and sterilizations, were the subject of a hearing before the U.S. House on Thursday.
The hearing comes in the wake of Vice President Joe Biden’s widely reported, controversial comments during an official state visit to China last month. Speaking to a Chinese audience, Biden said he was not “second guessing” the policy, indicating what New Jersey Republican Rep. Chris Smith said was the Obama administration’s apparent lack of concern for the oppressive policy.
Smith, chairman of the House subcommittee that oversees human rights and chairman of the Congressional-Executive China Commission, held the hearing entitled “China’s One-Child Policy: The Government’s Massive Crime Against Women and Unborn Babies.” Smith calls China’s one child policy “cruel and barbaric” noting that pregnant women without birth permits are hunted down and there are no single moms in China.
Smith also said he is concerned Chinese officials will begin attritioning the “surplus” of men — following sex-selection abortions and infanticides targeting girls that has resulted in a massive gender imbalance — through war by forcing them to serve in the military and making them participate in armed conflicts.
Witnesses testified about China’s harsh population control program. Chai Ling, former student leader at Tiananmen Square, founder of All Girls Allowed; Reggie Littlejohn, President, Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, and; Dr. Valerie Hudson, author of the book “Bare Branches” all testified during the hearing.
Littlejohn told the panel about thirteen new, documented cases of coercion: forced abortion (including one woman at eight months and another carrying twins at 8 ½ months), forced sterilization, forced contraception, and the use of abortion and sterilization quotas. She detailed accounts of a couple brutally tortured for missing a pregnancy check by one day; a man whose head was smashed open and who is now permanently disabled because his wife had a second child; a father who was beaten to death because his son was suspected of having a second child.
“We have chosen to release the names of the perpetrators of these Crimes Against Humanity, so that they can be held accountable before the world. This report contains dozens of their names, as well as details of their crimes,” she said of materials she provided Congress.
“Because of abortion, abandonment, and infanticide of baby girls, there are an estimated 37 million Chinese men who will never marry because they cannot find wives. This gender imbalance is a powerful, driving force behind trafficking in women and sexual slavery from nations surrounding China,” she said of other consequences of the policy.
She concluded: “In China, a woman’s body is not her own. It belongs to the state. A woman’s womb is the most intimate part of her body – physically, emotionally and spiritually. For the Chinese Communist Party to act as “womb police” and crush the life inside her is a heinous crime against humanity.”
The hearing came after a members-only meeting earlier this week with members of Congress at the Capital where a former health secretary in the Chinese government admitted the one-child policy has cost the nation as many as 400 million people.
That figure includes not only people who were likely not born because of the promotion of birth control and contraception, but the deaths of unborn children in abortions, forced abortions and infanticides. China sees as many as 37,000 abortions a day under the population control policy.
In a Budget Committee members-only meeting on Tuesday, Congressman Tim Huelskamp, a pro-life Kansas Republican, asked Gao Qiang, who served for two years as the Party Secretary for the Ministry of Health of the People’s Republic of China, about the country’s population control policy. Through an interpreter, Gao told members in attendance that the population of China has 400 million fewer people that had the coercive family planning policy not been in place. Gao also pointed out that China has lost more people than the overall population of the United States, estimated at 312 million.