It’s a busy week for the pro-life students at the University of Guelph. Life Choice, the campus pro-life club, will be hosting several events to bring the pro-life message to the University community.
They’ll be focusing on current life issues both on the local and international level, from the recent opposition to pro-life bus ads in Guelph, to gendercide in India and China.
G&A Right to Life’s own Jakki Jeffs will be speaking on campus this Friday at 1:30pm (Mackinnon building, room 231). She’ll be discussing the issues surrounding our pro-life bus ads. All are welcome to attend!
This Thursday, Life Choice will be showing It’s a Girl, a stunning documentary that exposes the practice of gendercide. Shot on location in India and China, it explores sex-selective abortion and infanticide, the role of China’s one-child policy, and the factors that have led to an estimated 200 million girls being ‘missing’ today. The screening is at 7pm in Mackinnon 227.
For more information on these events, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
What little girl hasn’t heard that little slogan from an annoying boy at one time or another? While in Canada we live in a society that knows that boys are not superior to girls, not all cultures share that seemingly fundamental belief. China and India are two such examples of countries that have a different perspective on the “value” attached to a specific gender. The notion that boys have more worth than girls has increasingly lead to the practice of gendercide, the murder of a human person for no reason other than the fact that they are not the preferred sex. Not only is this horrifying practice happening in China and India but it is also increasing in Canada.
Reggie Littlejohn was one of the keynote speakers at the March for Life youth conference. She is the founder of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, an organization that directly opposes forced abortions and sterilizations in China.
While all of you are undoubtedly aware that the Communist party of China has a one-child policy, you may have never really thought much about how they enforce that policy. Through various photographs and video presentations Ms. Littlejohn showed the true violence and terror behind the one child policy.
One of these pictures shows a sign of Chinese characters strung across a city street. In a direct translation the sign reads: “If you do not abort, we will crush you and your family like a tornado!” While the wording may seem somewhat silly to an English speaker, the promise behind that threat is absolutely no laughing matter.
Since the institution of the one child policy in 1979, China currently has over 37 million more males than females. The government boasts that in those 24 years they have performed over 400 MILLION abortions. When you break down the stats you find that there are over 1500 abortions performed each hour in China. The sheer magnitude of those numbers is absolutely baffling — the fact that those numbers correspond to the murder of innocent babies is too terrible to fully grasp.
As in India, Chinese culture prefers sons to daughters. This is because sons carry the family name, they care for their parents in their old age, and a daughter is brought into the family when they marry. Daughters, on the other hand, are seen as an unworthy expense. One Indian saying states, “Having a daughter is like watering your neighbour’s tree.” This is part of the idea that children – male or female – are property, and females do not offer a good return investment. Due to this preference for sons, gendercide is widespread in the quest to have a boy child rather than a “useless” girl child.
More than this patriarchal desire for sons, the most distressing part is the Chinese government’s belief that they have the right to tell people how many children they are permitted to have. Specific units of enforcement called the “Family Planning Police” travel village to village rounding up women without birth permits and forcing them to undergo forced abortions on babies that these women very much want.
“Terror is now the purpose of the one child policy, “ Ms. Littlejohn proclaimed. “Forced abortion is official government rape.”
If this is so terrible why do the Chinese people not stand up in opposition to these atrocities? Here’s the thing: they are not truly free. They are not given the ease of free speech and they or their family can and will be punished for openly opposing the government in any way, shape, or form.
Take the example of blind human rights activist Chen Guangcheng. He was imprisoned, abused, denied medical attention and constantly monitored simply for exposing that in 2005 there were over 130,000 forced abortions in his city alone.
Women’s Rights Without Frontiers intervened on his behalf and finally, thanks to their efforts, he was granted political asylum in America just last year. Even though Chen is now free, he and Ms. Littlejohn affirm that the fight to end China’s barbaric one-child policy is only just beginning. Ms. Littlejohn has presented the horrors of China’s bestial policy to the UN, US Congress, the European, Canadian and Irish Parliaments among many other distinguished world governing bodies.
To oppose this you do not have to be of Chinese heritage, nor do you have to be a woman. You only have to be a human who believes that injustice cannot continue. We have to stand for life and say, “No, a government does not have the right to tell anyone how big their family can be, nor can they force anyone to abort their child.” Only by actively pursuing this and helping to educate others will we see an end to these crimes against humanity.
“Victims of Abortion” is a phrase that many dismiss as impossible since we are in a country that upholds abortion as a choice. With choice comes freedom — if you are free to do what you wish surely no one can be a victim of what you choose to do. This concept of choice has been allowed to fasten itself to the word abortion, pummeling forward the profit of abortion providers across the country — choice equals freedom, abortion is a choice, hit up an abortion clinic and you will gain back freedom.
What abortion advocates and abortion providers refuse to publicize are the consequences that follow choosing abortion. When you push past the slogans you will find real women and real men who have experienced abortion and are encountering unexpected physical and emotional difficulties. The Candlelight Vigil for Victims of Abortion highlighted the harsh reality many have to face as a result of “choice”. A participant named Ashley shared her experience with abortion, calling others who have suffered, especially within the church, to bravely step beyond pain and shame and find help to heal. The full version of Ashley’s testimony can be watched here.
The vigil also highlighted the testimony of an abortion survivor named Ruth. Ruth was born in the eighties in India and could easily have been one of the many unborn girls killed each day simply for being a female in a culture that values men over women. Ruth’s testimony brought attention to the unborn victims of abortion: hundreds of thousands of people who are not on the earth simply because their human lives were deemed less valuable than the lives of those already born.
After these two women spoke a sixteen year old speaker declared his refusal to be a part of a generation that sees the injustice of abortion, shuts the blinds and walks away. Abortion hurts men, hurts women and is used extensively to terminate life. This speaker, however, and many others are not unaware that for every story exposing the detrimental impact of abortion someone will proclaim a positive abortion experience to be true. But whether or not someone is convinced their abortion has been beneficial does not change the fact that a) abortion is used to terminate human life and, increasingly, the life of girls more than boys b) people are suffering from their abortion experience.
As a result we ask, even if just one person has been negatively affected by an abortion experience, is the suffering of that one not enough to make us step back and evaluate the legality of abortion in our country? And if a trend is emerging to show unborn girls are terminated across the globe at a rate faster than unborn boys, is that not enough to sound out an alarm? The practice of abortion has created too many casualties who have been forced into silence in the name of choice. Abortion is unjust. It must end.