Only time will tell if international pressure on China to halt
its forced abortion policy worked.
In the aftermath of international uproar over a picture of a
forced abortion victim with her aborted late-term baby lying next
to her (see earlier story), China's Population and
Family Planning Commission has issued instructions to halt forced
Kat Lewis of All Girls Allowed says it "remains to be seen"
whether the order has any teeth to it.
"It's a huge step in that before, when people have complained
about forced abortion, they've just said that forced abortions
don't happen or that they're illegal, but they haven't actually
backed it up with any concrete action," Lewis notes. "So, issuing a
directive to all the local offices is a pretty significant
Families still must pay a fine for a birth permit for a second
child, and that is usually too substantial to afford. Couples are
also threatened with losing their jobs.
"In the last month, two professors lost their jobs at a
university because they had a second child," Lewis reports. "That
also inhibits people's ability to have a second child if they're
threatened with both the huge fine and then the loss of their
Lewis was encouraged to hear the global outcry over the forced
abortion policy, and she believes the public will continue to show
concern about the issue.
All Girls Allowed also works to encourage parents to have female
children, who are often aborted or abandoned.