China’s Population Policy Still Enforced by ‘Coercive Abortions and Sterilizations’

By Terence P. Jeffrey | April 7, 2017 | 3:09pm EDT
President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, with their wives, First lady Melania Trump and Chinese First Lady Peng Liyuan at dinner at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., April 6, 2017 (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

( - The Communist government of the People’s Republic of China continues to impose a “coercive birth-limitation policy” that is enforced by “measures such as mandatory pregnancy examinations and coercive abortions and sterilizations,” according to the Country Report on Human Rights in China released by President Donald Trump’s State Department.

President Trump had dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., on Thursday evening.

China changed its coercive family planning policy last year by lifting the limit on children from one per couple to two per couple.

To make sure women do not have more children than the Communist government believes they should, the government engages in both forced birth control and forced abortion.

“The government considers intrauterine devices (IUDs) and sterilization to be the most reliable form of birth control and compelled women to accept the insertion of IUDs by officials,” said the State Department report.

“As in prior years,” said the State Department, “population control policy continued to rely on social pressure, education, propaganda, and economic penalties as well as on measures such as mandatory pregnancy examinations and coercive abortions and sterilizations.”

The State Department reported, for example, that provincial regulations in Hunan state: “Pregnancies that do not conform to the conditions established by the law should promptly be terminated. For those who have not promptly terminated the pregnancy, the township people’s government or subdistrict office shall order that the pregnancy be terminated by a deadline.”

“Other provinces, such as Guizhou, Jiangxi, Qinghai, and Yunnan,” said the State Department, “maintained provisions that require 'remedial measures,' an official euphemism for abortion, to deal with pregnancies that violate the policy.”

China still sees more male than female babies born, which the State Department attributed to both cultural factors and the child-limitation policy.

“According to the National Bureau of Statistics of China,” said the report, “the sex ratio at birth was 113 males to 100 females in 2016, a decline from 2013, when the ratio was 116 males for every 100 females. Sex identification and sex-selective abortion are prohibited, but the practices continued because of traditional preference for male children and the birth-limitation policy.’

Baby girls who are not killed in a gender-based abortion could then face hazards including infanticide and abandonment, the State Department reported.

“Female infanticide, gender-biased abortions, and the abandonment and neglect of baby girls were declining but continued to be a problem in some circumstances due to the traditional preference for sons and the birth-limitation policy,” said the report.

The law in the People’s Republic of China, according to the State Department, prohibits people with “certain mental disabilities” from marrying and unborn babies discovered to have a disability in utero could be subjected to a government-mandated abortion.

“The law forbids the marriage of persons with certain mental disabilities, such as schizophrenia,” says the State Department report. “If doctors found that a couple was at risk of transmitting congenital disabilities to their children, the couple could marry only if they agree to use birth control or undergo sterilization. In some instances officials continued to require couples to abort pregnancies when doctors discovered possible disabilities during prenatal examinations. The law stipulates that local governments must employ such practices to raise the percentage of births of children without disabilities.’

In a background briefing at the White House on Tuesday, senior administration officials suggested that human rights would not be a central element of Trump’s discussions with the Chinese leader when he visited Mar-a-Lago.

A report asked if “religious persecution in China” was something that the U.S. would bring up in the meeting.

A senior administration official responded that he thought it was more likely the Chinese leader would bring it up than Trump would.

“I think to the degree that issue is brought up, it would be brought up, I would expect, by the Chinese as opposed to the United States,” said the official. “We’re obviously aware of the issues and prepared to address it, but it’s not something that that I would anticipate we’re going to be raising.”

“And again, I’m not going to pre-speak the president’s talking points,” said a senior administration official. “We’ll see what is concretely discussed, but human rights are integral to who we are as Americans.  It is the reason that we have alliances at the end of the day, one of the reasons in addition to the fact that they serve our security and prosperity here at home.  And human rights issues I would expect will continue to be brought up in the relationship.”

The full State Department Country Report on Human Rights in China can be read by clicking here.

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