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Viewpoint: Denied choices in China

BY KEVIN TUNG

Published November 13, 2012

I believe that the ability to make choices is a God-given right inherent in all living creatures that are capable of thinking consciously. As humans, we have the capability to think consciously, which therefore bestows upon us the inherent right to make choices. These choices could be as insignificant as the type of coffee we purchase at Starbucks, or as consequential as the future of a baby whose life is tantamount in significance with that of the person making the choice.

Abortion has always been a controversial topic in the United States. People voice their stance as either pro-choice or pro-life in endless debates across the country. However, in China, a woman’s right to decide whether to keep or abort the baby is denied. The deprivation of this inherent right is only the tip of the iceberg — it’s indicative of a brutally repressed society where human rights abuses, tortures and disappearances of political dissidents often vanish and go without a formal charge, a just trial or due process.

China has enforced the One-Child Policy since 1979. The policy may be an effective way to ease China’s overpopulation problem, yet the unjust implementation of this policy fundamentally intrudes in the lives of Chinese women by depriving them of the right to choose. In an article published by USA Today, Calum Macleod tells a tragic story that took place in Daji Township, a Fujian province in China. A township supervisor, whose obligation was to monitor family planning and enforce the rules of the Communist Party, gathered eight men to kidnap a pregnant woman, Pan Chunyan, from her grocery store. They took Chunyan to a nearby hospital and forcibly injected chemicals into her, thus killing the child. The woman delivered a fully formed dead baby. One could only imagine the emotions running through Chunyan’s mind. This incident reflected the social injustice and the lack of respect for civil liberties and human rights that still exist in China to this day. These are important problems that need to be addressed. The rapidly growing Chinese economy is a result of careful and strict central regulations and monitoring; however, it’s evident that the Communist Party has abused its untouchable authorities when their policies greatly harmed the fundamental rights and liberties of the Chinese people.

Two resolutions were passed to investigate the abuses of human rights in China in hopes of helping the Chinese citizens who are suffering from the unethical and inhumane ways of the Communist rule. First, Resolution 232: Recognizing the continued persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China, and Resolution 497: Government of the People’s Republic of China should immediately release from custody the children of Reebyia Kadeer. There needs to be more efforts by the United States, the United Nations and the rest of the world, in a collective manner, directed towards calling on the government of the PRC to terminate all acts of unreasonable violence that put an individual’s fundamental rights to life in grave harm.

Each individual rightly possesses the ability to choose. Denying the pregnant woman of her right to choose whether to abort or keep her child and forcibly injecting chemicals into her body not only violated a woman’s right to choose but also the right to her own body. This incident was fortunate enough to have been reported; many other equally brutal tragedies were often buried or erased by the Chinese government.

This has to stop. The United States and other developed, democratic nations should heed human rights abuses in China and take actions to put an end to the social injustices that are becoming a threat to our efforts to achieving a global community with higher and stronger moral codes, where each individual rightly possesses and enjoys his or her rights to life.

Kevin Tung is an LSA junior.