[Photo Caption:  Reggie Littlejohn, Chai Ling and Jing Zhang testify before Congress.  Littlejohn is second from the left; Chai Ling and Jing Zhang are seated to her right.  Photo by Jim Geheran.  Used with permission from Initiatives for China.]


Women’s Rights in China and Women’s Rights Without Frontiers – two organizations whose mission is to expose and oppose forced abortion and sexual trafficking in China – teamed up to testify before the United States Congressional Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission on Tuesday.  In addition, they have written the following letter to President Obama, challenging him to raise the issue of forced abortion in China.


Dear President Obama:


Most people know that China has a One-Child Policy.  But do they stop to think about what happens to a woman when she violates that policy?


As you may know, we are among those who testified concerning the One Child Policy before the U.S. Congressional Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission on Tuesday.  As you travel to Asia today, we are writing to let you know that China’s One-Child Policy causes more violence against women and girls than any other official policy on earth.  Indeed, it is the worst violence against women in human history.  This is not a political issue.  It’s a human rights issue and a women’s rights issue.  On April 22 of this year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned forced abortion and forced sterilization in China, saying that they are “absolutely unacceptable.  It does not matter whether you are pro-choice or pro-life on this issue.  No one supports forced abortion, because it is not a choice.


When we say, “forced abortion,” what do we mean?  At the hearing on Tuesday, we heard the heart-wrenching testimony of  “Wujuan” (not her real name) who was a victim of China’s One Child Policy in 2005.  Wujuan went into hiding when she became pregnant because she did not have a birth permit.  In a little shack without electricity or running water, she brought her pregnancy to term.  A neighbor found her to say that her father-in-law was being beaten daily and might soon die if she didn’t give herself up for a forced abortion.  She was caught in a terrible choice:  the life of her father-in-law, or the life of her baby.  As she agonized about this, the Family Planning Police discovered her hiding place, broke into her shack, and dragged her out for a forced abortion.  When the oxytocin injection failed to induce labor, they forced her onto an operating table and cut her fetus to pieces with scissors.  Wujuan’s heart was broken and she wished that she were dead. When the dismemberment was complete, the doctor took tweezers and showed Wujuan the tiny, bloody foot of what once was her child.  The doctor then dumped the rest of the small body into the trash can.  Wujuan says that a part of her died forever at that moment.


President Obama, this must be stopped!  You have just won the Nobel Peace Prize.  We call upon you to truly represent America to the Chinese by standing up for women’s rights in China and demanding an end to these barbarous practices.


There are many ways in which the One Child Policy causes violence against women and girls.


1)   Forced abortion is traumatic to women.


2)    The “Three Examinations,” in which women are forcibly monitored the use of contraceptive rings, pregnancy, and illness, is hostile and abhorrent to women.


3)   Because of the traditional preference for boys, sex-selective abortion is common and most of the aborted fetuses are girls, a form of “gendercide.”
4)   Because of this gendercide, there are than 37 million more men than women in China today.   This gender imbalance is a major force driving sexual trafficking of women and girls in Asia.
5)    China has the highest female suicide rate of any country in the world.  It is the only nation in which more women than men kill themselves – approximately 500 women a day.  I believe that this high suicide rate is likely  related to coercive family planning.
The only logically and morally consistent position for the pro-choice movement is to oppose forced abortion, because it is not a choice.  President Obama, we call upon you to challenge the Chinese Communist Party on the coercive implementation of its One Child Policy.  As Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated at a recent event honoring the Dalai Lama, “If we do not stand for human rights in China, we lose the moral authority to stand for anything else.”



Chai Ling and Jing Zhang                                                        Reggie Littlejohn

Women’s Rights in China                                                       Women’s Right Without Frontiers