Forced abortion in China
I heard this incredibly sad and disturbing story on NPR this morning about a recent spate of forced abortions in southwest China. The descriptions of women being packed into a hospital, with some forced to undergo abortions in the 7th month, was heart-wrenching.
But I found it equally upsetting that NPR referred to the perpetrators as Chinese "family planning" officials. I'm sorry, but "family planning" is about empowering women and couples to decide and plan for the number of children they want to have. It is NOT about the government deciding an appropriate number of children per family and forcing women to comply. What's happening in China is "coercive family planning."
It's also worth mentioning that Bush has used the fact that the Chinese government commits these crimes against women as justification for defunding the United Nations Population Fund, hampering its ability to help women and couples truly plan their families in countries around the world. (I recall a passage in Chris Mooney's book, The Republican War on Science, that thoroughly debunked the allegations that the UNFPA supported the Chinese government's "one child" policy. But now I can't find the book...)
Bottom line? Despite what U.S. anti-choicers say, no one who is pro-choice is pro-forced abortion. We are against government intervention in personal reproductive decisions -- whether it be by the U.S. Congress in banning abortion or by the Chinese government in forcing it.