Chinese Rights Activist: Sex-Selection Abortion ‘Morally Wrong’ in China--And U.S.

June 4, 2012 - 7:45 PM

Bob Fu, Chinese Christians

Bob Fu, a former house church pastor in China, now heads the Texas-based China Aid Association, which advocates for Chinese Christians. (Photo courtesy of CAA)

(CNSNews.com) – Sex-selective abortion is “morally wrong” and should not be happening in China, the United States or anywhere else, says Bob Fu, a human rights advocate who helped Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng obtain safe passage to the United States last month.

“The gender standard is morally wrong, let alone to choose to abort that girl – I think that’s horrible,” Fu told CNSNews.com.

“I think that [sex-selective abortion] should not happen in the first place, in China, U.S. or Europe, anywhere. And I think [as] people, we do not have the freedom to kill innocent babies,” he said. “It’s morally imperative for us to protect innocent lives.”

Last week the U.S. House failed to reach the two-thirds majority required to pass the Pre-Natal Non-Discrimination Act (PRENDA), a bill that sought to ban all abortions that occur on the basis of gender.

Fu said he was unsure whether Chen Guangcheng had an opinion on the legislation, but he pointed to the blind activist’s past opposition to forced abortion as well as China’s “one-child policy.”

Chen spent more than four years in prison after he exposed cases of coerced sterilization and forced abortion by local officials enforcing the birth-limitation policy. His release was followed by official harassment and reported assaults on him and his wife until his escape from house arrest led eventually to his departure from China a fortnight ago.

Fu is head of the Texas-based China Aid, an advocacy group that promotes religious freedom in China. During two Congressional hearings on Chen’s status last month, Fu arranged phone calls to enable the activist to address the hearings.

Fu was a student leader during the Tiananmen Square student protests and was later imprisoned for setting up a Bible school in Beijing. He and his wife fled to the United States in 1996.

Chinese children

China says its “one-child” policy has helped to reduce the country’s population by more than 400 million people. Critics say the program involves forced abortion and sterilization, as well as punitive fines and other rights abuses (Photo: Shanghai Population and Family Planning Commission)

Kat Lewis of All Girls Allowed, a group opposed to gendercide and the one-child policy, said the fact sex-selective abortion happens in the U.S. – regardless of prevalence – was reason enough for Congress to pass legislation such as PRENDA.

“We have seen close-hand the distress of Chinese women who face tremendous pressure to bear a son, and not a daughter, at any cost,” Lewis told CNSNews.com. “That cultural pressure may not be widespread in the U.S., but if it's present at all, our Congress should have reason to act.”

“And it is present,” she added. “The gender ratios of second and third children in some communities within the U.S. is deeply skewed. This must stop.”

In a 2008 study of U.S.-born children of Chinese, Korean, and Asian Indian parents, Columbia University economists found a male bias evident for second and especially third children of Chinese, Korean, and Asian Indian parents, a finding they interpreted as evidence of pre-natal sex selection.

Lewis said PRENDA aimed not to target “choice” but to curb gendercide.

“This is not a pro-life versus pro-choice issue because women who face extreme pressure to abort daughters are not acting with the benefit of free choice,” she said. “This is why the U.K., the Netherlands, Canada, France, Germany, and other countries already ban sex-selective abortion.”

Had it been enacted, PRENDA would have criminalized abortions that are a direct result of discrimination on the basis of gender. Those who perform these types of abortions would have faced monetary fines and a five-year prison sentence.