Last year, China marked 32 years of the one-child family planning policy that has resulted in massive human rights abuses, including forced abortions and coercive sterilizations.
Started in 1980, the policy, which prohibits most Chinese couples form having more than one baby and limits rural residents to two, has resulted in severe human rights abuses. Family planning officials frequently jail couples who refuse to comply, sentence them to house arrest or labor camps, revoke jobs or governmental support, use physical harassment or violence and often target other family members.
Instead of turning back the policy, which has already resulted in underpopulation and worker shortages in some areas, a Chinese billionaire says it should continue — especially for low income people and those with less education. As one news agency reported:
Chen made the controversial comments to the Anhui Business News on Sunday.
He said: “People with a high-school or university education should not be restricted under the one-child policy. High-school graduates should only be allowed to have one child. People with lower education levels should be prohibited from giving birth.”
Asked by journalists whether this suggestion would violate people’s rights, Chen said uneducated children would be a burden to China.
Chen later claimed journalists had misinterpreted him. “[I] hope government puts more value on people’s qualities instead of just their numbers. Regarding the right to give birth, it is a fundamental human right. Everyone is equal,” he wrote on Chinese microblogging site Sina Weibo.
Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey, one of the leading pro-life and human rights advocates in Congress, puts the one-child policy in perspective.
“In 1980 the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party sent an open letter to party members setting forth its plan to embark on a national one-child policy,” Smith said. “What came out of that letter? A cruel and inhumane policy, a human rights violation that is, in scope and seriousness, the worst human rights abuse in the world today. No other government policy anywhere else in the world systematically punishes, abuses, and violates women so grossly as this.”
Smith said the policy has made it so brothers and sisters are illegal and children are growing up in a society with no aunts and uncle because the one-child policy has now been around for a generation.
The policy is unlike any other in the world in that it requires all women to obtain a birth permit before becoming pregnant and children of unwed mothers are subjected to abortions. And it monitors the reproductive cycles of all women of childbearing age through a system of mandatory, regular, and crudely invasive physical check-ups.
He says the policy has created an “atmosphere of fear” where anonymous pregnancy informants spy on citizens.
“The brave pregnant woman who refuses to give in is usually detained and beaten – or, if she goes into hiding, her relatives are detained and beaten. Families that succeed in hiding an “out-of-plan” pregnancy are punished with fines up to ten times the average annual income,” he explained.
Smith said the abortions have resulted in a policy of “gendercide” where more than 120 boys are born for every 100 girls. This has created a bachelor society of men who will be unable to marry and has given rise to more crime, sex trafficking, prostitution, and other problems.
He said the policy has resulted in a sky-high suicide rate for Chinese women who face such a brutal and terrorizing regime.
Smith said those who don’t believe the one-child policy is resulting in forced abortions need only look at the numerous media reports, reports from Chinese people who have fled the country, and human rights activists monitoring the situation.
“The violence of the one-child policy is absolutely ongoing. This year there are reliable reports of large scale and violent abortion enforcement campaigns in Guangdong, Fujian, Yunnan, Zhejiang, and Jiangxi provinces,” he said.
Smith also appealed to President Obama and called on him to “speak out in defense of the Chinese people tomorrow, especially women and children, on this terrible anniversary.” Doing so, he said, would provide encouragement for millions of Chinese people, “to suddenly feel that the leader of the free world understands and empathizes with their plight.”