When Pregnancy is a Crime-A A +A
Monday, June 25, 2012
A MOTHER of a child yet to be born, unwillingly and forcibly subjected to abortion. We may find it unjust, inhumane and depressingly miserable -- all elements of abhorrence -- but to China, it’s just one of the many in the statistics of success of its one-child-only policy -- a corrective measure against a bloated population.
China’s policy started in the late 70s after post-Mao Tse Tung’s census showed an alarming rise in population, as the country invests in human resource. But fearing that the economic requisites of feeding a billion people might cause financial turmoil, China’s next leaders implemented the one-child-only policy that limited an urban couple to only one sibling while allowing those in the rural category a second one in case the first turns out to be a girl.
For decades, China’s measure enjoyed much secrecy, until the web came out with the disturbing news, with more disturbing photos tagged along, of a woman in a state of shock and despair after having been given shots for miscarriage against her will.
It’s hard to imagine how the woman feels, as both her right to life and that of her child were indiscriminately violated.
It’s even harder to fathom the indignity she had to endure from the hands of the very entity that should protect her. This elicited worldwide condemnation as opinions questioned China’s disregard of her human rights, while calling for an end to Forced Abortion.
While the policy aims to avert over-population, it does however put in peril the moral fiber of its populace. Quite surprisingly, the Chinese have accepted the policy as a default and choose to remain critical only on the methods by which the authorities implement it. That alone could perhaps manifest either unconditional acceptance of the law or blind submission of the helpless to authorities.
Either way, the ethical and moral standards have been totally compromised.
But it would likewise be a sound contention that since the law had long been in effect, anything contrary to it, intentionally or otherwise, is a violation that should merit corresponding penalties.
Authorities have the right to insist that it is the law that must prevail and that ignorance will not flex its stand. It’s indeed a clash between ethical and moral standards and the supremacy of the law.
But in a place where over-population threatens the economy and well-being of the people, compassion takes a back seat. Yes, “forced abortion” is inarguably unjust, others call it murder, but there is no denying the fact that it is the consequence of one’s crime, which is pregnancy.
Sad as it may be, but in the pursuit of protecting the people, China saw it necessary to go to where others see as extreme. Sad as it may be, but in its desire to trim its population, China saw it prudent to stop the source from producing, forcibly.
Sad it may be, but however cruel it may seem to us, it’s their laws and it’s how they make them work.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on June 25, 2012.