BRUSSELS, July 18, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Alozj Peterle, the Slovenian MEP responsible for the passage of an EU resolution condemning a much-publicized case of forced abortion in China, gave an interview today with Vatican Radio, saying that public funding should not be allocated to coercive “family planning” measures in China.
The resolution condemned the practice of forced or financially coerced abortion, saying it “constitutes inhuman and degrading treatment in that it denies the autonomy of choice for couples”.
The resolution was passed earlier this month following the revelation of a case in which a 23-year-old Chinese mother was forced to undergo an abortion by state “family planning” authorities. Although the Chinese government claims that such cases are a thing of the past, investigators say they continue to be common. The case of Feng Jianmei caused an international furore when a photo was circulated on the internet of Feng and her dead seven-month-old baby in the hospital following the late-term abortion.
Officials had demanded that she and her family pay a 40,000 yuan “social maintenance fee,” roughly equivalent to US $6,280, or abort the child. Such fines for extra children have garnered the government billions of yuan since 1980.
The EU resolution noted that the case would not have come to light at all had it not been for the watchfulness of internet bloggers and small-scale online news agencies.
Peterle summarized the case for Vatican Radio, calling it a “flagrant violation of human rights” and said the “emergency resolution” was specific only to this individual case. But he said that the EU should ensure for the future that EU money does not go to support such coercive programs which, he said, are opposed to “European values”.
Article 20 of the Chinese family planning policy states that “spouses at childbearing age shall deliberately take the contraception measures of family planning, and accept the preferred techniques of family planning”. This language, Peterle says, means that abortion is regarded by the Chinese government as a “preferred technique of family planning” and is encouraged as a form of birth control, a concept formally opposed by many MEPs.
The requirement to use contraception, he said, violates the provisions of the Convention to End Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) which grants men and women “the same rights to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of their children.”
The resolution says that the intention of “family planning” is to “enable couples and individuals to make free, responsible and informed decisions about childbearing and to make available a full range of safe, effective and acceptable methods of family planning of their choice, and any form of coercion has no part to play”. It promises that the topic of forced abortion would be raised at the next meeting between EU officials and the Chinese government.
During the debate over the resolution, Peterle had said, “European taxpayers must know where their money is going. The Commission must set up a full-scale investigation of the organizations and programs that receive its funding for reproductive health and family planning purposes in China.”
Pro-life advocates in Britain have long criticized their government for heavily funding international population control and abortion groups like Marie Stopes and International Planned Parenthood Federation to conduct abortion and sterilization programs at the request of the Chinese communist government.
Peterle wrote in an op ed for the webpage of Public Service Europe, “Certain international organisations, such as International Planned Parenthood Federation and Marie Stopes International, provide family planning services in China. At the same time, the European Commission and other international bodies provide both structural and project funds for these organisations.
“Both have entered into public partnerships with the commission in the implementation of projects in China, which raises concern as to whether European funds are being used to fund coercive practices.”
He quoted Article 18 of the Chinese law on population and family planning which encourages a birth regulation policy in which couples “marry and bear a child at a late age” and “advocates that one wife bear only one child”.
“This case,” he wrote, “is the tip of the iceberg of a policy that has cost the lives of 300 million babies since 1979.”
“State and regional governments have created an environment of mistrust between family planning officials, subject to strict birth control targets, and couples, who cannot afford the fines imposed by the regional authorities.”
While the Chinese government continues to insist that forced abortion is against the law, independent researchers have urged the U.S. government to step up pressure against what investigations have proved is an ongoing and common practice. Earlier this month, Steven Mosher told the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Human Rights and International Programs, chaired by Rep. Christopher Smith, of the human rights abuses perpetrated by the UNFPA and their communist partners in China. These include forced abortions, involuntary sterilization and the kidnapping and overseas sale of “illegally born” children.
Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, urged http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/hearings/view/?1452 the U.S. government to permanently halt funding to the global population control agencies. “China’s one-child policy constitutes the longest-running and most far-reaching violation of human rights the world has ever seen. Four hundred million Chinese children are missing because of this policy,” Mosher said.