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Advocacy Groups Disagree Whether China Has Banned One-Child Policy Forced Abortions

New "ban" is Chinese Communist Party "propaganda," Women's Rights Without Frontiers claims.

Advocacy groups aiming to end China's One-Child Policy appear split on the significance of China's apparent ban on late-term forced abortion.

As CT noted last Friday, All Girls Allowed (AGA) reports that a new Chinese government directive, dated July 22, instructed family planning offices not to require late-term forced abortions.

However, Women's Rights Without Frontiers (WRWF) points out the new documents highlighted by AGA make no mention of early- and mid-term forced abortions. WRWF claims the AGA statement is based on Chinese Communist Party "rhetoric" and "propaganda."

"[WRWF] has no doubt that forced abortions continue to happen at this very moment in China," the post stated. "When the message goes out that this is no longer happening, it undermines the movement to stop it."

Reggie Littlejohn, founder and president of WRWF, said the new documents on which AGA based its press release reiterate the existing federal law, which the government has already been disregarding. The family planning law already protects against forced abortion as a "remedial measure."

But AGA founder Chai Ling says AGA and WRWF are just interpreting the facts differently. Whereas Littlejohn characterizes "voluntary" abortions brought about by "coercive fines" as forced abortions, AGA qualifies those as "coercive abortions," Ling said.

"I spoke to Reggie, and she said she has no new evidence, just a new interpretation," Ling said Monday afternoon. "We stand by the press release."

Littlejohn says AGA's decision to run a press release is a "disservice to the women and babies still being forcibly aborted."

"There is a movement afoot to end forced abortion in China," she said. "There's a gathering of that, and it takes the wind out of the sails behind the movement to end [forced abortion]."

Kat Lewis, AGA director of communications, says AGA believes this step is energizing the movement's supporters. Even if the new government directives are propaganda, now the government can be held more accountable.

"Ending late-term forced abortion is not the end of the battle," she said. "The work continues; this is just a great milestone."

Related Topics:China
Posted:September 18, 2012 at 10:16AM
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