Gruesome Picture Puts New Pressure on China over One-Child Policy

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), July 10, 2012 | Go to article overview

Gruesome Picture Puts New Pressure on China over One-Child Policy


Byline: Cheryl Wetzstein, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

At a House hearing punctuated by the wails of a Chinese woman mourning a baby that was forcibly aborted 17 years ago, lawmakers said there were signs that increased domestic and international pressure on Chinese officials to end the country's one-child policy was beginning to have an effect.

The recent publication of a photo of despondent 23-year-old Jianmei Feng lying on a hospital bed with her bloody, aborted 7-month-old child beside her has sparked global outrage, said Rep. Christopher H. Smith, New Jersey Republican and chairman of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Africa, global health and human rights.

With that picture, People are finally seeing the gruesome reality of China's one-child policy, said Mr. Smith, who noted that Ms. Feng's husband, Deng Jiyuan, has been beaten and is in hiding, and that Ms. Feng remains confined in a government hospital.

But Mr. Smith also noted that several prominent Chinese researchers told the China Economic Times earlier this month that the one-child policy should be adjusted as soon as possible to avert a demographic crisis, and 15 Chinese scholars Friday openly said the one-child policy does not accord with human rights and China's need for sustainable economic development.

It now seems that consensus in China is building towards reforming the policy, said Rep. Joseph R. Pitts, Pennsylvania Republican.

Human rights activist Reggie Littlejohn told lawmakers there were signs of a breakthrough with State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland and Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, speaking out against forced abortion, citing the case of Ms. Feng.

Forced abortion is not a choice, said Ms. Littlejohn, president of Women's Rights Without Frontiers.

The publication of the gruesome pictures has clearly rattled officials in Beijing. The young couple were called traitors by some in China, but the European Parliament recently cited them in a strong condemnation of China's one-child policy and forced abortion, Mr. …

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