Update on the Chinese Government’s Document Banning Late-term Forced Abortion

 

 

Boston, MA—We have received some great questions about what the document issued to family planning offices might mean for women facing forced and coerced abortions in China.  (We usually speak of “forced” abortion as the violent act of dragging a woman to undergo an abortion; a “coerced” abortion involves the use of economic, social or other threats to pressure a woman to agree to undergo an abortion.)

 

Since speaking with the official in Chongqing about the directive banning forced late-term abortion, we have discovered that the same directive has been announced in many other provinces following the media exposure of Feng Jianmei’s late-term forced abortion in June.  On July 22, 2012, the Chinese Central Government’s Family Planning Committee praised the “success” of the One-Child Policy in preventing 400 million births and vowed to continue the policy.  However, in this same speech, Minister Wang Xia issued a national call for an end to late-term forced abortions and urged the use of voluntary measures. Additionally, the following provinces have adopted this language into their policies in response to Ms. Feng’s forced abortion

 

case: Fujian (7/5/12), Anhui (7/24/12), Inner Mongolia (8/1/12), and Henan (8/6/12) have joined Shaanxi (9/12/12) and Chongqing (8/31/12) in banning late-term forced abortion.

 

We believe this call to ban late-term forced abortion is major progress—China has ordered provincial level enforcers to “absolutely stop” late-term forced abortions. It’s a step. It’s the beginning of the end. It means that Feng Jianmei’s bravery in sharing her story, the media’s faithful reporting, and the global outcry that followed all had an impact. It means, ultimately, that God is answering the devoted prayers of many.

 

We know that there remains an uphill battle to end the One-Child Policy. But far from making us complacent or less attentive, the recent news is heartening and inspires us to keep an even closer watch on cases in China. The recent news shows that exposing cases like Feng Jianmei’s has a major impact. If we hear that another woman has been threatened with a forced abortion, we will spread the word at once—with the understanding that China must be more accountable for such abuses now than it ever has been.

 

While China did have a law on the books in 2002 calling for officials to “enforce the law in a civil manner,” this requirement allows for a much looser interpretation than Wang Xia’s direct order to “absolutely stop late-term abortions” in July, which was evidently backed up by a directive to provincial offices.

 

Since our founding in June 2010, All Girls Allowed has been committed to exposing forced and coerced abortions while seeking opportunities to rescue mothers whenever possible, all through the love and power of Jesus. Although we are confronted with this massive evil, God has proven faithful through numerous miracles, such as Nie Lina’s release from a black prison,

 

Chen Guangcheng’s escape to freedom and the breakthrough of Feng Jianmei’s forced abortion story. Another mother, Cao Ruyi, was rescued from forced abortion in June and is about to deliver her baby. In the wake of the Chinese government’s order to stop late-term abortions, we remain as committed as ever to this mission. For example, we have a team of volunteers and workers reporting on One-Child Policy-related incidents (past and ongoing) in China. We also recently filed a complaint to the United Nations on behalf of these women.

Please continue to pray for the end of the One-Child Policy now more than ever. A ban on forced late-term abortions, even if it is enforced, will not protect families from the threats and coercion of the One-Child Policy. Coerced abortions—where a family has little choice but to submit to an abortion in face of huge fines, threats of job loss, or imprisonment—will continue as long as the policy is in place.

 

The news from last week does not lessen the suffering of women like Feng Jianmei who have undergone forced abortions, and it does not nullify the fears of women right now who are concerned about a late-term forced abortion happening to them. But it does give them a reason to hope that things might change. That is valuable, and worth reporting.

 

Additional References

 

Chinese news sources quote Wang Xia’s prohibition on late-term abortion, including Xinhua (state press):

 

§  http://news.xinhuanet.com/2012-07/22/c_112500602.htm

 

§  http://health.sohu.com/20120713/n348062958.shtml

 

§  http://news.qq.com/a/20120721/000057.htm

 

§  http://news.sina.com.cn/c/2012-07-22/221024822673.shtm







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(Image: China Daily)

 

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