China Sanctions Pro-Life Lawmakers for Speaking Out Against Its Forced Abortions

International   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jul 13, 2020   |   6:56PM   |   Washington, DC

The Chinese Communist Party lashed out at leading pro-life United States lawmakers Monday after the U.S. sanctioned Chinese officials for horrific human rights abuses against minorities.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry sanctioned U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio, of Florida, and Ted Cruz, of Texas, as well as religious freedom Ambassador Sam Brownback and U.S. Congressman Chris Smith, of New Jersey, NBC News reports.

All four are strong pro-life advocates. Smith especially has been a leading voice in exposing China’s human rights abuses against women, unborn babies and the Uighurs, a minority Muslim group in the Xinjiang region of China.

It is not clear exactly what the sanctions mean, but those named likely will not be allowed to travel to China.

Smith said Chinese leaders are guilty of “genocide” against the Muslims.

“The U.S. sanctions Chinese officials for egregiously abusing human rights and Beijing responds by sanctioning Members of Congress for defending human rights,” Smith said in a statement. “We must continue to stand with the Chinese people against an increasingly authoritarian Chinese government that represses legitimate desires for liberty and justice.”

The move is being described as retaliation against the Trump administration after it sanctioned Communist Chinese leaders last week based on new reports exposing on-going forced abortions and sterilizations and other horrific human rights abuses against minorities in China.

“The Chinese Communist Party is terrified and lashing out,” Cruz responded in a statement. “They forced over 1 million Uighurs into concentration camps and engaged in ethnic cleansing, including horrific forced abortions and sterilizations. These are egregious human rights atrocities that cannot be tolerated.”

Hua Chunying, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, said the U.S. should mind its own business.

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“Xinjiang affairs are purely China’s internal affairs. The U.S. has no right or qualification to intervene arbitrarily,” he said in a statement in the Global Times, a Chinese newspaper.

Hua said the sanctions “seriously damaged” the relationship between the two countries, and he urged the U.S. to reverse them. The Chinese government has denied any wrongdoing.

“China will make further responses as the situation develops,” Hua said.

Hundreds of thousands of Uighur women are being subjected to state pregnancy testing, forcibly sterilized and forced to abort their unborn babies, according to an Associated Press report last week. Additionally, at least 1 million Uighurs have been placed in “re-education” camps since in 2017, PBS News reports. And, according to the AP, one of the main reasons for their detention is having too many children.

Other reports accuse China of harvesting prisoners’ organs.

The Trump administration pointed to these on-going abuses as the reason for the sanctions.

“The United States will not stand idly by as the [Chinese Communist Party] carries out human rights abuses targeting Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs, and members of other minority groups in Xinjiang, to include forced labor, arbitrary mass detention, and forced population control, and attempts to erase their culture and Muslim faith,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement last week.

British MPs also are urging their government to take action against China, some likening its persecution of minorities to “genocide,” according to Yahoo News.

For many years, pro-life advocates have been exposing China’s massive human rights abuses through its oppressive population control measures. Under its one child policy, the communist country forced women to abort their unborn babies through all nine months of pregnancy and penalized families with huge fines and jail time if they had a second child.

About five years ago, China loosened its one child policy, but pro-life advocates warned that forced abortion and sterilization practices continue.

This is not the first action by the Trump administration to protect minorities in China. President Donald Trump took a strong stand for the rights of women and children when he defunded the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) of tens of millions of taxpayer dollars because of its connections to forced abortions in China.

Earlier this month, the AP reported about police raids on Uighur families’ homes in search of illegal children, families going into hiding to protect their children, government intimidation and more.

The Daily Beast reports: “One woman, After Gulnar Omirzakh, said the government ordered her to have an IUD inserted after her third child. Two years later, officials turned up at her house and told her she had three days to pay a $2,685 fine for having more than two children. She said: ‘God bequeaths children on you. To prevent people from having children is wrong… They want to destroy us as a people.’”

Statistics show huge contrasts in birth rates, birth control and sterilization in regions where the Uighur live, compared to the rest of the country.

After the AP report broke, Chinese government leaders slammed it as “fake news.” However, the findings are not new.

A recent BBC report also found that families remain fearful of the population control officials. One family shared how they tried to hide a pregnancy from the government and then suffered the consequences. The husband was kidnapped and beaten and the wife forced to abort their unborn child more than six months into the pregnancy.

“The baby was well-formed,” the grandmother said. “You could even see his fingernails. He was a bit small, but very well-developed already.”

Decades ago, Steven W. Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, was one of the first to expose the forced abortions and other horrific human rights abuses in China.

He wrote in 2012: “It is well known that those who violate the one-child policy have sometimes been subjected to coerced abortions or, if they have already given birth, have been forced to pay punitive fines and have been sterilized. But it has also recently come to our attention that Chinese villagers who cannot afford to pay these fines have their ‘illegal’ children abducted and sold by Chinese population control officials.”

Even after China loosened its population control measures in 2015, human rights advocates said the abuses continued.

In 2016, Reggie Littlejohn, founder and president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, told LifeNews that the new measures did not stop forced abortions and involuntary sterilizations in China. Find a video about it here.

“Unmarried women and third children continue to be forcibly aborted.  Women are still routinely sterilized after their second child,” Littlejohn said.

She said the Chinese army of family planning officials is estimated at 1 million, and their population control tactics are used to quell growing unrest inside China.

“… people should not come away with the false impression that all or even most of China’s brutal ‘abortion police’ are being repurposed as an army of  ‘Chinese Father Christmas.’  This is far from the case,” Littlejohn said. “I do not believe that China will repurpose its family planning army, because the infrastructure of coercion instituted under the One Child Policy can be turned in any direction to crush dissent of any sort.”