David Bereit

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Forced Abortion Still A Reality in China Says New Amnesty Report

David Bereit

LONDON, England., May 27, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Amnesty International, the well known human rights group, has issued its 2005 Amnesty International report which again shows China’s continuing abuse of women due to the one-child policy. Successive reports indicating such abuses have, however, failed to convince the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to abandon its relationship with the Chinese population control program. They have also evidently failed to convince Canada and other nations to follow the lead of the United States and refuse funding to UNFPA based on their complicity with China’s coercive abortion regime.

The Amnesty International 2005 report states that “Serious violations against women and girls continued to be reported as a result of the enforcement of the family planning policy, including forced abortions and sterilizations.” The report gives the specific example of one woman’s experiences.

“Mao Hengfeng was sent to a labour camp for 18 months’ ‘Re-education through Labour’ in April for persistently petitioning the authorities over a forced abortion 15 years earlier when she became pregnant in violation of China’s family planning policy. She was reportedly tied up, suspended from the ceiling and severely beaten in the labour camp. She had been detained several times in the past in psychiatric units where she had been forced to undergo shock therapy.”

Information regarding abuses against women in China has been available for some time. The United States refuses to fund the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) based on its U.S. Department of State investigations. Last December Arthur Dewey, the U.S. assistant secretary of State for the bureau of population, refugees, and migration made a presentation to the House International Relations Committee and stated that “UNFPA support of, and participation in, China’s population-planning activities allows the Chinese government to implement more effectively its program of coercive abortion, thus triggering the Kemp-Kasten prohibition on support to any organization that supports or participates in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization,” The result has been that the United States has not funded UNFPA during the past three years.

His report also stated that “China’s birth planning law and policies retain harshly coercive elements in law and practice. Forced abortion and sterilization are egregious violations of human rights, and should be of concern to the global human rights community, as well as to the Chinese themselves. Unfortunately, we have not seen willingness in other parts of the international community to stand with us on these human rights issues.”

Canada is among those “international communities” that refused to change its policies in spite of the overwhelming evidence of abuse against women. Instead, during President Bush’s visit to Canada last November, Canada announced a $67 million increase (over four years) to its annual $13.1 million UNFPA contribution. According to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, “UNFPA is helping improve the administration of the local family planning offices that are administering the very social compensation fee and other penalties that are effectively coercing women to have abortions.”

Canada’s implicit support, through its UNFPA funding, for the Chinese government’s “one-child policy” is evident despite the fact that the atrocities are well known to the government. In February of this year a refugee claimant from China who worked as a “family-planning manager” was rejected by a Canadian court, which ruled that forcing women to abort their children against their will is a crime against humanity.

Li Min Lai admitted to aggressively enforcing the one-child policy in her workplace - at one time even camping out in front of a woman employee’s home, eventually coercing her into aborting her seven-month-old unborn child.

Federal Court Justice Sandra Simpson upheld a decision by Canada’s refugee board, which ruled last year that Lai’s role in coercing abortion contravened the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.

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