There are very few topics on which I will not even entertain the opposition’s viewpoint. Forced abortions by the Chinese government is one of those topics. To me, there is absolutely no debate that this barbaric practice is horrible and wrong.
But even in the world of the one-child limit, some stories are exceedingly gruesome. Feng Jianmei is a 27-year-old Chinese woman who was beaten by local authorities and forced to abort her pregnancy at seven months because she couldn’t pay the roughly $6,300 fine for having a second child. According to Chinese law, women are not supposed to be forced to have an abortion after six months. Obviously every forced procedure is a tragedy, but the idea that these infants could’ve been delivered healthy just adds even more sorrow to the already unimaginable horror.
Normally, this type of violation by local authorities would have been overlooked. Even though the correct procedure is to allow the woman to have the child and then enforce fines and punishments on her after the child is born, it’s rare to see the authorities challenged on their decisions.
However, in Feng’s case, pictures of her laying next to the 7-month-old fetus went viral and inspired outrage. (Pictures are available here, but they are obviously very upsetting.) Now that the government’s misdeeds have been highlighted, the local authorities are facing criticism and punishments for their behavior. The three officials involved have been suspended from their jobs and the government issued an apology to Feng.
When I read that, I couldn’t help but to actually say out loud, “An apology? Seriously?” Because an apology is enough to make up for stealing a woman’s child from her? The sheer audacity of apologizing for such a horrendous act is astonishing. I’m not sure if it’s good to hear the Chinese admit their mistake, or insulting that they think it’s mitigated with a simple “I’m sorry.”
I am pro-choice. And being pro-choice means supporting a woman’s decision to have a child or to not have a child. The idea of not allowing someone to make that choice on their own is always upsetting. And in the case of taking away a woman’s wanted and loved child, it’s absolutely heart-wrenching. It puts tears in my eyes.
I’m glad that the Chinese government’s horrible actions have been exposed, but their apology should not be accepted. Not until every family is free to make their own choices about reproduction and having children.
(Photo: EWTN News)