Forced Abortion: The Most Despicable Human Rights Violation

Opinion   |   Brianna Walden   |   Jun 27, 2012   |   10:31PM   |   Washington, DC

On June 2nd, a despicable human rights violation was committed, and the world took notice. Chinese woman Feng Jianmei was dragged from her home, beaten, and forced to abort her seven month old unborn child, because it was her second pregnancy. According to China’s one-child policy, couples living in rural areas may have a second child only if their first is a girl. And those in urban areas are strictly restricted to one child. Anyone found breaking this law is fined up to $25,000, or forced to comply as in the case of Feng Jianmei.

After pictures of 23-year-old Feng and her bloody, aborted child were posted online, China’s twitter-like site, Sina Weibo, exploded with posts expressing abhorrence to the action of Zhenping County government officials. In response, according to a USA Today article, the Shaanxi provincial government changed their initial statement issued Monday that the abortion was “carried out according to the law,” and on Thursday, fired three officials for violating the law, promising to “pursue strict and legal disciplinary action” against them.

Over the course of this past week, news headlines across the world have been reporting outrage and “worldwide uproar” over the acts of death and violence committed by Chinese officials at a hospital. All agree that there is something very evil about the deed that was performed.

But what is that evil, and the target of all the outrage? What is it about the picture of Feng lying on the hospital bed, her gaze locked on the brutalized infant beside her, that causes us deep horror and repulsion? Is it that we see a picture of coercion of the worst kind, and a violation of a woman’s right of choice? Or is it rather that we see the broken body of an innocent child and instinctively recognize the violation of life, the most precious and fundamental of all rights. Yes, the fact that Feng Jianmei was beaten and her child forcibly extracted from within her is a gross obtrusion upon her liberty. The grievous theft of her child is second only in magnitude to the theft of her life. But to say that the woman‘s decision is deciding factor that characterizes this act as repulsive and evil, and condones the over 8,000 late term abortions that occur yearly in the United States, is to miss the mark in the worst way possible.

Slaughter of innocent human life is inherently wrong and repulsive, no matter the circumstances. It was wrong for Chinese family-planning officials to slaughter Feng’s child, it is wrong for the Chinese government to kill 13 million infants yearly through their one-child policy, and it is wrong for the United States of America to kill over 1 million infants yearly through legalized abortion. In all cases, innocent life is snuffed out through the choice of another. To try and distinguish between them in order to condone one practice and condemn the other is the epitome of hypocrisy.



The worldwide outrage over Feng Jianmei’s abortion is well-grounded. A despicable human rights violation has been committed against Feng and many other Chinese women. But it would be foolish to point the finger at China and not step back to realize that the greatest human rights violation in this tragic story was not committed against Feng Jianmei. It was against her child, and this same human rights violation is committed in the United States every day through the practice of legalized abortion.

For more information about the devastating effects of China’s one-child policy see:

LifeNews Note: Brianna writes for the Cloakroom Blog, a project of Family Research Council Action.