As I've already discussed here and here (alerted by Wesley J. Smith), some on the left have a bit of a romance going with China's one-child policy. It's green, you see. We humans are so bad for the environment that one can sort of understand the communists' desire to use admittedly somewhat draconian measures to reduce our numbers.
From Steven W. Mosher comes information showing just how hard it is being green--hard, that is, on the women at the bottom of the food chain whose "illegal" children are forcibly aborted and, if born, seized by government officials. The section of his testimony called "Child Abduction, Child Trafficking, and the One-Child Policy" (pp. 8ff) discusses the abduction and trafficking angle (which was new to me):
In Lipu county, another UNFPA Model Birth Control County, located in northern Guangxi province, we were told by...village officials that “At the present time, if you don’t pay the fine, they come and abduct the baby you just gave birth to and give it to someone else."
This practice of child abduction has recently been confirmed by the Chinese government. According to a report in the Caixin Century magazine, authorities in the southern Chinese Province of Hunan have begun investigating a report that population control officials had seized at least 16 babies born in violation of strict family planning rules, sent them to state-run rphanages, and then sold them abroad for adoption. “Before 1997, they usually punished us by tearing down our houses for breaching the one-child policy, but after 2000 they began to confiscate our children,” the magazine quoted villager Yuan Chaoren as saying.
The children, reportedly from Longhui county near Hunan province’s Shaoyang city, had been abducted by who accused their parents of breaching the one-child policy or illegally adopting children. The local family planning office then sent the children to local orphanages, which listed them as being available for adoption, the report said, adding the office could get 1,000 renminbi or more for each child. The orphanages in turn receive $3,000 to $5,000 for each child adopted overseas, money that is paid by the adoptive parents. The magazine reported that at least one migrant worker said she had found her daughter had been adopted abroad and was now living in the United States.
It is worth noting that these two reports come from the same general area of China and occurred in neighboring provinces. Lipu county, where we heard about the practice of abducting and selling “illegal” children, is located in northern Guangxi province not far from the Hunan border, while Shaoyang is located near the southern border of Hunan not far from the Guangxi border.
Local officials deny any involvement in child trafficking. But it is well known that the so-called “job responsibility system” requires them to rigorously enforce the one-child policy, and that their success (or failure) in this area will determine future promotions (or demotions). Abducting and selling an “illegal” baby or child would not only enable an official to eliminate a potential black mark on his record, it would allow him to make a profit at the same time. In this way the one-child policy, through its system of perverse and inhumane rewards and unishment, encourages officials to violate the fundamental right of parents to decide for themselves the number and spacing of their children.
Mosher also documents the huge size of the "illegal child" fines:
In one UNFPA “Model Birth Control County,” we photographed a billboard of birth control regulations that warned:Those who illegally reproduce … will be assessed, when their illegal behavior is discovered, a "social compensation fee" based on a unit calculated from a year’s salary for urban dwellers and based on a year’s income after expenses for rural dwellers; Those who illegally give birth to one child, will be assessed a fine 3 to 5 times their annual income; those who illegally give birth to a second child will be assessed a fine from 5 to 7 times their annual income; those who illegally give birth to a third child will be assessed a fine from 7 to 9 times their annual income; those who give birth to 4 or more illegal children will be assessed a fine extrapolated from the above schedule of multiples; Those who illegally take in a child, have an extramarital birth, have an out of wedlock birth, both parties involved will be assessed a “social compensation fee" according to the above schedule of (income) multiples.
That these fines were actually imposed was clear from our discussions with ordinary Chinese. We were told again and again that violators are fined “tens of thousands of renminbi,” or "20,000 or 30,000 renminbi." These are enormous sums of money by Chinese standards.
And to forestall claims (from one reader in particular) that this is "not a left vs. right issue," that is simply blatant nonsense. It doesn't pass the laugh test. Here is Planned Parenthood lamenting the cutting, by George W. Bush and the Republicans, of U.S. funding for the UNFPA because of its support for China's one-child policy. Indeed, this particular football has been kicked back and forth for many years along rather precisely partisan lines. It was Barack Obama who pledged to restore the funding as one of his earliest acts in office and, with the help of other Democats, succeeded in doing so in the spring of 2009. Here is Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) gloating over their success. And the Sierra Club positively gushes over the "voluntary family planning" promoted by the UNFPA and its helpfulness in reducing human population.
On this issue, there's no contest. The "pox on both your houses" crowd would be dead-wrong if they tried it here. One side really is the Party of Death.
Now we know that, when Death doesn't quite succeed in snatching the child, local Chinese population officials are ready to step in.