Official Chinese Report: Reproductive Rights Still Far Off for Women

 

Chinese women will not be given rights over their own bodies any time soon, according to a recent report from Guandong, China’s most populous province.

 

Provincial authorities in Guangdong boldly petitioned the central government in July for a relaxation of the policy, to allow 2 children per couple (if both parents were only children).

 

Yet this past Sunday, provincial authorities officially ruled out any significant change in the province's family planning policy in the next five years, in contrast to their earlier application for allowing qualified local couples to have two children.

 

According to Zhang Feng, director of the provincial population and family planning commission, “the family planning policy has relieved the province of an extra 35 million people.” 

 

Chai Ling, founder of All Girls Allowed, an organization devoted to restoring value to girls and women and to revealing the injustice of China’s One-Child Policy, says that this decision is a horrible reality with a silver lining.

 

“The horrible reality is that if this decision is upheld, the forced sterilization of women will continue,” says Ling. “In the next 5 years, millions of additional women may be held down and forced to abort.”

 

What’s the silver lining?  This decision may actually save lives of girls: “Research has shown that a two-child policy is even worse than a One-Child Policy for balancing China’s gender ratios,” says Ling.  “The girls being killed are often second children.  In areas that allow for a two-child policy, families may keep first-born girls because they can still try for a boy.  But they will abort, abandon or kill second girl-children to make room for a boy.  It’s girls born as second children that are most often disposed of.”

 

For this reason, Ling believes that abolishing the policy is the only way families can experience real freedom.  Her book, A Heart for Freedom, released last week, discusses the issue of forced abortion in more detail.  Chai Ling's own experience as Commander-in-Chief of students at the 1989 Tienanmen Square movement is an important part of this new movement to bring freedom to mothers.  This is also highlighted in the book (See www.aheartforfreedom.com).


 







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IMAGE: Chris Gash / New York Times

 

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