Catholic Values Column: China’s ongoing disregard for life, despite ending its one-child policy



10251911_1536828646585717_5042894169062191200_nThe Chinese government announced on Thursday that it would be discontinuing its one-child policy.

Citing population and economic concerns, Chinese law makers said that families would now be permitted to have two children instead of one. The Chinese government will “fully implement a policy of allowing each couple to have two children as an active response to an ageing population,” according to a statement published by Xinhua, China’s official news agency.

The statement continued, “The change of policy is intended to balance population development and address the challenge of an ageing population.”

However, there are many who believe that this adjustment to Chinese policy will not make much difference, if any, for the mothers and families of China.

“Noticeably absent from the Chinese Communist party’s announcement is any mention of human rights,” said Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers. “The Chinese Communist Party has not suddenly developed a conscience or grown a heart. Even though it will now allow all couples to have a second child, China has not promised to end forced abortion, forced sterilization, or forced contraception. Coercion is the core of the policy. Instituting a two-child policy will not end forced abortion or forced sterilization.”

The fact that the rest of the world must realize is that China had and continues to have total and complete disregard for human life. It has a blatant disregard for the millions of mothers who have had their children ripped from their wombs in violent abortion procedures, often without anesthesia. It also has a blatant disregard for the fathers and siblings of the tens of millions of children sacrificed to the god of the one-child policy, not to mention the adverse effects the Chinese people will be facing economically and demographically.

The Guardian reports that by the mid-2020s, “China will be adding 10 million more elderly to its population each year but losing 7 million working adults. … The shrinking workforce will have to shoulder the burden of ageing parents, grandparents and all the financial and emotional baggage that come with this – dementia, cancer, brittle bones, broken hips – all on China’s inadequate social safety net.”

Undoubtedly, China is already reaping the consequences of its lack of basic human rights.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a 20th century German theologian who was executed by the Nazis during World War II, once said, “The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children.” It is plain to see that China’s society has been far from moral. For the past 35 years, China has been throwing away her most precious gift – her children. While this policy change is a small step in the right direction, there is still an extremely long road ahead.

As the Holy Year of Mercy begins on Dec. 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and runs until Nov. 20, 2016, the Feast of Christ the King, let us pray in a special way for the country of China, our own country, and all those societies who commit sins against the dignity of human life, that hearts and minds will be turned towards mercy and the inherent dignity of each life.

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