Monday, May 27, 2013

Beyond the Brutal One-Child Policy

On Tuesday, May 21, the New York Times, which has clearly shown itself to be supportive of the practice of abortion, in the United States as well as around the world, published an op-ed piece by Ma Jian, a novelist who lives in London, in exile from his native country, China. Ma Jian’s forthcoming novel, The Dark Road (due in June), illustrates the effect of China’s one-child policy on an ordinary Chinese woman and her husband. Ma Jian’s piece in the Times (which, like the novel, is translated by Flora Drew, his “life partner”) addresses the one-child policy. Beyond the obvious, several portions are disturbing to me:
  • According to Ma Jian, in China, each province has a "family planning bureau" with “family planning officers” who are charged with enforcing the Chinese government’s one-child policy. In the United States, our president (as well as many other members of our government) is an unabashed supporter and promoter of a very wealthy and influential organization called Planned Parenthood, the country’s largest provider of abortions. If I wasn't uncomfortable with this before (and I was), I am now. We all should be.
  • Reminiscent of the horrors we heard about in the recent trial of late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell, Ma Jian describes what happened to one woman who "was eight months pregnant with an illegal second child and was unable to pay the 20,000 yuan fine (about $3,200)." She was "dragged" by "family planning officers ... to the local clinic, bound ... to a surgical table and injected [with] a lethal drug into her abdomen. For two days she writhed on the table, her hands and feet still bound with rope, waiting for her body to eject the murdered baby. In the final stage of labor, a male doctor yanked the dead fetus out by the foot, then dropped it into a garbage can."
  • According to Ma Jian, "China has the highest rate of female suicide in the world," yet the pro-abortion party line in the United States, despite evidence to the contrary, is that "post-abortion syndrome," which can include attempted or successful suicide, is a myth invented by ideologically motivated anti-abortionists.
  • The wording that follows the comment about suicide sounds disturbingly like pro-abortion (aka "pro-choice") rhetoric: "The one-child policy has reduced women to numbers, objects, a means of production; it has denied them control of their bodies and the basic human right to determine freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children." Is Ma Jian only against forced abortion? Is the issue here not the killing of unborn children but rather who chooses? This sentence feels out of sync with the rest of the article, especially when, in the next paragraph, Ma Jian calls the unborn what (or who) they are: "Baby girls are also victims of the policy. Under family pressure to ensure that their only child is a son, women often choose to abort baby girls or discard them at birth." Babies. Girls.
  • "Under family pressure"many abortions "chosen" in the United States are due to "family pressure.
Ma Jian closes his piece forcefully: “Ending this scourge is a moral imperative. The atrocities committed in the name of the one-child policy over the last three decades rank among the worst crimes against humanity of the last century. The stains it has left on China may never be erased.” It still isn’t clear to me whether the author’s outrage is directed only at the one-child policy and the brutality used to enforce it, or at the killing of all unborn babies--the girls and boys--who are all “victims of the policy,” whether in China or the United Kingdom or the United States. I hope it is the latter.

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