By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
In an effort to fulfill government goals, doctors in Puning county in southern China are working around the clock to sterilize – by force if necessary – nearly 10,000 men and women who have violated the country’s birth control policies by having more than one child.
According to London’s TimesOnline, a 20-day campaign was launched on April 7 to complete 9,559 sterilizations in rural Puning county, where many people ignore the policy and have three or four children, making it the most populous county in Guangdong Province. County officials are therefore cracking down on citizens and forcing families to undergo sterilization either by force or by “re-education.” Some clinics are operating from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. the following morning in order to complete the surgeries.
Those who resist are being subject to all kinds of pressure, including the incarceration of relatives. One man, Zhang Lizhao, 38, the father of two sons aged 6 and 4, submitted to being sterilized only after being told that his elder brother was being detained.
Mr Zhang told the Times: “This morning my wife called me and said they were forcing her to be sterilised today. She pleaded with the clinic to wait because she has her period. But they would not wait a single day. I called and begged them but they said no. So I have rushed back. I am satisfied because I have two sons.”
The Southern Countryside Daily reported that about 100 relatives of resistors, mostly elderly, were being detained in a cramped 2,150 square foot room at a local family planning center. “There were some mats on the floor but the room was too small for all people to lie down and sleep, so the young ones had to stand or squat,” the paper reported. “Owing to the lack of quilts, many cuddled up to fight the cold.”
The single-child family planning policy was introduced in 1978 to ensure that China, the most populous country on earth at over one billion citizens, could feed all of its people. The policy allows couples living in cities to have no more than one child, unless one or both are from an ethnic minority or they are both only children. In most rural areas a couple may have a second child after a break of several years.
Normally, couples who resist the policy face penalties such as being unable to build a house or the refusal by government authorities to give their “illegal” children access to healthcare and education.
However, harsher tactics have indeed been used, such as forced late-term abortions and even the killing of newborns. The use of these harsher methods has diminished as the policy has become more widely accepted.
Colin Mason of Population Research Institute who spent two weeks in China investigating its coercive methods in 2009, told LifeSiteNews that this is what officials do to show the population they are serious about the policy. They generally seek other coercive methods, such as fines, before resorting to the more draconian method of rounding up people for mass coerced sterilization and abortions, which can be bad for public relations and, when severe enough, can provoke riots.
Mason said that for many Chinese, living with the one-child policy has become “something that they are forced to confront and deal with.”
He added that from his experience in China he found the Chinese had a great deal of “resignation and cynicism” toward the government as they carry on in spite of it.
“People are going to try to have the children that they want, and they are going to try not to get caught, and if they do get caught they are going to try not to pay the consequences for it.”
This latest episode only adds to the overwhelming evidence that one of the prophecies of Pope Paul VI in his document, Humanae Vitae, has indeed been realized in our world. He warned that the widespread acceptance of contraception would place a “dangerous weapon… in the hands of those public authorities who take no heed of moral exigencies.”
As Dr. Janet Smith writes in her article, “Pope Paul VI as Prophet,” the forced abortion program in China “shows the stark extreme toward which governments will take population programs. Moreover, few people are willing to recognize the growing evidence that many parts of the world face not overpopulation, but underpopulation. It will take years to reverse the ‘anti-child’ mentality now entrenched in many societies.”
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