|At the time of this picture the baby had already been given a lethal injection|
China's one child policy
In this exclusive report by Al Jazeera's Melissa Chan, we look at a Chinese woman ordeal. As she was forced to abort her eight month baby, because she violated China's one child policy.
Forced abortions for Chinese women
China's one-child policy leads to an estimated 13 million reported abortions every year, with many of those ordered by the authorities enforcing the system.
Al Jazeera's Melissa Chan gained access to a hospital in the southeastern city of Xiamen, where she found one mother in a terrible condition.
Xiao Ai Ying was forced to have an abortion eight months into her pregnancy because she already has a ten-year-old girl.
Forced abortions sometimes happen in remote areas of China, but this one occurred in one of the country's most modern cities. They are not condoned by the central government.
Mothers who violate China's one-child policy usually pay a fine anywhere from $1 to $40,000, but are then often sterilised to prevent them from having another child.
Although the officials figures of 13 million abortions seem high, physicians and medical researchers quoted by the state-run newspaper China Daily on Thursday said that once unreported and medication-induced abortions are counted, the actual number is substantially higher.
The rate of abortion in China is about 24 abortions for every 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44, the World Health Organisation and the Guttmacher Institute said in a joint report.
In 2003, the report put the number of abortions in China at nine million, out of a total of 42 million worldwide.
Al Jazeera approached Chinese authorities in Xiamen for comment on this story, but they declined to speak to us.
Luo Yan Qua Interview
In this exclusive report by Al Jazeera's Melissa Chan, the husband of a Chinese woman speaks out about his wife's ordeal. As she was forced to abort her eight month baby, because she violated China's one child policy. because she violated China's one child policy.
China's population policy draws wide praise - People's Daily Online
September 29, 2009
Demographers and scholars worldwide have spoken highly of China's family-planning policy over the past 30 years and more, saying it has helped lower the world population growth.
"We know that China, being the most populous country in the world, is especially important in the area of population," said Hania Zlotnik, director of the Population Division of the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).
Whatever happens in China has a great impact on world population, and certainly on the population in the developing world, she explained.
"Thanks to the changes in fertility, especially in China, the growth rate of the world population (and) of the developing country population is a quarter of a point lower today than it would have been if China did not have such a big drop in family size," she said in a recent exclusive interview with Xinhua.
China's family planning policy, which requires most couples have one child in urban areas and two in rural areas, has been in effect for more than three decades. It has helped prevent an estimated 400 million births. That means if China had not implemented its family planning policy, its total population would have exceeded 1.7 billion in 2008.
"So it's a much more complex policy than the slogan of one child per woman. Therefore, China doesn't have, at this moment, one of the lowest fertility in the world," she said. "It has a moderately low fertility. It is being lowered and that is an achievement."
Gill Greer, director-general of the London-based International Planned Parenthood Federation, told Xinhua in a recent interview that the family planning policy has contributed a great deal to China's remarkable economic and social achievements over the past 30 years.
By adopting the population control policy, Greer said, China has reduced its population growth rate and alleviated problems from overpopulation.
"Thus, the policy is very conducive to China's development in various aspects such as economy, education and health care services," she said.
American scholar Barbara Pillsbury, who has worked for the United Nations Population Agency, shared similar views with Greer.
"China won't have achieved so much in the country's development if it did not pursue its population control policy," she said.
Pillsbury compared China's population policy with India and said China has successfully controlled its population while India's population will increase dramatically.
She predicted that by 2040, India will surpass China as the world's most populous country with 1.52 billion people, while China's population is expected to stand at 1.45 billion.
Carl Haub, a senior demographer at the non-profit Population Reference Bureau, based in Washington DC, told Xinhua that birth planning, a basic national policy that China has stuck to for over30 years, has helped reduce the country's population growth rate.
"It has not only lowered China's demand for resources from outside the country, but also relieved pressure on the domestic labor market," he said.
In this way, the Chinese government could focus its efforts on providing better material conditions for its people, and improving their living standards," he said.
- Does Planned Parenthood approve of China’s brutality forced sterilization policies?
- China's Forced Abortion Program: Applause from the United States
- Nancy Pelosi offers no apologies for being pro-abortion
- Pelosi Says U.S. Should Aid U.N. Population Fund Despite Its Involvement in China Where There's Forced Abortion
What does NOW (National Organization for Women) have to say about women being forced to have abortions in China? For an organization that purports to defend women's rights world-wide, they are strangely silent. After an exhausting search of their website the only thing I could come up with is a "legislative update" warning about the danger of restrictions on funding for UNFPA (United Nations Fund for Population Assistance) in China.
Finally, this dangerous amendment denies U.S. contributions to the United Nations Fund for Population Assistance (UNFPA) unless the president certifies that UNFPA has stopped all program activities in China. This latter provision is related to reports of coerced abortions in China. Reps. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Ben Gilman (R-NY), Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Jim Greenwood (R-PA) tried in vain to pass a substitute amendment that would have countered many of Smith's bad provisions, but this failed by a vote of 218-210.This statement from NOW was under the section for "reproductive rights". These rights as defined by NOW apparently don't include the right of women in China to choose to keep their babies when that conflicts with China's eugenic birth control policies. I challenge anyone to provide evidence that NOW has ever condemned China's forced sterilization or abortion policies. Just like Planned Parenthood – whose founder, Margaret Sanger, NOW credits as one of the founders of the women's movement – NOW is a pro-eugenic organization. Their uninhibited advocacy of abortion is in keeping with their elitist, pro-eugenic agenda.
Urge your member of the House of Representatives to support of international family planning programs without the Mexico City gag rule and any other constraints concerning abortion. The health of women in many developing countries is dependent upon programs which the U.S. helps to support and these women deserve to have full reproductive health information and services.