By Fr. John Flynn, LC
2009-06-09 12:00 AM
The mainstream media focused on civil and political rights, but the denial of the right of families to choose how many children they want continues to oppress many Chinese.
On May 7, LifeNews.com published a report detailing the findings of an undercover investigation by Colin Mason in China.
The fines for having an illegal child are now three to five times the family's income, LifeNews reported. Not surprisingly, when couples are faced with the prospect of such a fine, many consent to either abortion or sterilization.
According to Mason, in Guangxi province babies born outside the government's limits are taken into custody by government officials, who hold the infants until the parents are able to pay the huge fines.
On Feb. 15 the London-based Times newspaper reported that the government's severe restrictions are provoking widespread protests.
According to the report, Chinese media and Internet commentators are breaking restrictions to report birth control abuses.
Among the abuses, the Times mentioned that women who already have one child face regular pregnancy tests, as well as pressure to be sterilized. The means used to oblige women range from financial penalties to the threat of being sacked from their jobs.
One case the Times mentioned was that of Zhang Linla, who committed the error of becoming pregnant when she had already given birth to a a daughter. Just six days before the date she was due to give birth she was subjected to a forced abortion.
The article mentioned other examples involving forced sterilizations and live babies being left to die.
On Nov. 17 the Christian Post Web site reported on the case of Arzigul Tursun, a Muslim Uyghur woman who faced the threat of a forced abortion. At the time of the article she was more than six months pregnant and was being pressured by authorities to abort as she already had two children.
On Oct. 5 the South China Morning Post newspaper published a lengthy article chronicling the coercive measures faced by couples not obeying the strict family planning laws.