Kirsten Andersen


Human rights activist to Obama: Press Chinese president to end one child policy

Kirsten Andersen

RANCHO MIRAGE, CA, June 7, 2013 ( – As President Barack Obama headed to California Friday for a two-day visit with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Sunnylands Estate, human rights activist Reggie Littlejohn of Women's Rights Without Frontiers called on both leaders to discuss an end to the coercive enforcement of China’s one child policy. The controversial law forbids most Chinese women from producing more than one surviving baby.

Violations of the policy, whether intentional or not, result in forced abortions, forced sterilizations, and heavy fines.

In an open letter to both President Obama and President Jinping, Littlejohn called the policy “brutal” and listed nearly a dozen human rights violations that have been reported in the first six months of 2013 as a result of the law.

Among the stories Littlejohn shared:

  • A February 4, 2013 altercation between Family Planning Officials and a couple who had three children. During the argument, officials drove over the couple’s thirteen-month-old infant son with their car, killing him;

  • The March hanging death inside a local Family Planning office of Yang Yuzhi, a woman who had twice been forcibly sterilized by Chinese authorities. For years, Yang had suffered chronic pain from the traumatic operations. Because her medication drained the family finances, she routinely petitioned the Family Planning Office for compensation, but was ignored. One day, she went to the Family Planning Office to once again request relief from the authorities, but never returned. The Family Planning Commission told Yang’s family that she had committed suicide, and that they “found her body hanging at the top of the stairs,” but photo evidence called the official story into question. Photos revealed she had been severely beaten – her dead body was covered with bruises – and that her neck was nearly severed by the wire rope from which she was hanging;

  • Another March death, this one of a mother of two who died after a forced sterilization was carried out against doctor’s orders;

  • The May 15 beating of a father of three by more than 20 Family Planning Officials, resulting in a fractured skull and a brain hemorrhage. Zhang Futao remains in critical condition from the near-fatal beating. His three children are ages 12, 6, and 4; and

  • The May 25 death of a six-months pregnant woman who was forced to undergo a dangerous late term abortion.

Littlejohn pointed out that the Chinese Health Ministry’s own statistics reveal that since the Communist Party started implementing coercive population control measures, doctors have performed 336 million abortions, 196 million sterilizations, and 403 million insertions of intrauterine devices.

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She also recounted how on April 24, accompanied by Congressman Chris Smith, she and other supporters of her Women’s Rights Without Frontiers group attempted to deliver 200,000 signatures on petitions against forced abortion and gendercide to the Chinese Embassy in Washington, DC, but the Embassy would not open its door to accept the signatures, refusing them instead.

Littlejohn wrote that the nation's “brutal” one child policy “causes more violence against women and girls than any other official policy on earth, and any official policy in the history of the world. It is state-sponsored violence against women.”

“Just this year, there has been much suffering caused by the one child policy,” Littlejohn wrote. “We are aware that the cases that make it to the West are just the tip of the iceberg. For every family that posts their experience of heartbreak on the internet, there are thousands or millions that suffer silently.”

Littlejohn appealed to President Jinping to put an end to coercive population control.

“President Jinping, you are in a unique position to stop this horrendous violence against women,” she wrote. “May the end of the one child policy be your enduring legacy to the Chinese people.”

The activist also singled out President Obama for his position of influence over the future of human rights in China. China’s ruthless population control program is aided heavily by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), an agency that the Obama administration is funding to the tune of $50 million a year despite U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell’s statement in 2002 that “UNFPA’s support of, and involvement in, China’s population-planning activities allows the Chinese government to implement more effectively its program of coercive abortion.”

“President Obama, you are a Nobel Peace Prize winner,” Littlejohn wrote. “Please live up to your acceptance of this award, urging the end of violence against women through coercive family planning in China.”

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