Monday, November 17, 2008

Forcing An Abortion Is Still Controlling A Womans Reproductive Freedom

In the west the war wages on to make sure that women have access to safe abortions and reproductive care.  The opposite is true for China.  For decades now, China has sought to strictly control the rate of reproduction by limiting how many children any couple may have according to the area in which they live.

This policy has proven to be particularly dreadful for Arzigul Tursun.  She is already the mother of two girls and as such, has reached the maximum children allowed under China's reproductive policy. 

A STORM of international protest is building over a Chinese ruling that a Muslim Uighur woman who is six months pregnant must have an abortion or lose her home.

Chinese authorities have ordered Arzigul Tursun, who is 26 weeks pregnant, to abort her unborn child ... She is under watch at the Municipal Watergate Hospital in Yining in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region, which is populated heavily with Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking Muslim minority. Supporters are concerned a forced abortion at such a late stage could threaten Arzigul's health.

Forcing an abortion is just as harmful to womens physical autonomy as denying one.   When the state is allowed to intervene in this way it infantalizes women.  Only a patriarchal culture that believes that womens bodies should be available for forced violation would even contemplate such a policy.

Due to the international pressure that has been levied about this issue, Arzigul Tursun has yet to be injected with a medication to induce abortion.  We need to keep up the outcry over this case.

The medication that will be forced upon her will make her uterus contract until she is delivered of a dead child. Imagine the horror of being forced to go through the pain of delivery against your will.  Imagine the strain of the pushing, only to be rewarded with a child that is dead because the state decided that you did not have the right to control your body.  This emotional and physical torture.  No woman should ever have to undergo such suffering.

H/T Feministe for 2nd link.


Tafari said...

Wow, such a late term abortion is a serious risk to the mom's health. The state obviously does not have health & safety on the agenda.

Is a there a such thing as women's rights in China?

Queers United said...

Thanks so much for posting this, we always talk about the lack of freedom for women to have choice here. I didn't even think for a second about the other side of the coin, women should absolutely also have the freedom to be pregnant and conceive should they choose. This is outrageous! said...

There is a such thing as women's rights in China. There is a movement, and I would caution us to not demean their work w/ our language (not that anyone here has...just a caution), we just don't see much of it. It's small, and working in their own way. It isn't like our western movement, and we may not understand it fully.

China is a complex and tricky situation. Women want to have their own rights, but they are working against thousands of years of culture, some of the oldest in history.

One of the problems w/ China's reproductive policy (aside from the obvious human and women's rights issues), is that there hasn't even been time for what they are trying to do to work or fail yet. Setting aside the fact that forcing a woman to have an abortion, or killing baby girls after birth are horrific and abhorrent, the policy was just set into effect recently enough that children born then would just now be having children of their own. The population would naturally rise before it fell back and plateaued. Please do not confuse this w/ me defending it...

But also, back to Women's rights in Asia, women are more and more deciding that they don't want to have children. It is a growing trend to remain childless, as opposed to not long ago when a woman's worth was based on her ability to bear fat sons.

There is an English version of Epoch Times, which pays close attention to Chinese human rights, and have been successful in getting China to confess things they were hiding in the past, were anyone interested in learning more about China.

julie said...

This is a sad situation. But I have found that the UN has had a lot to do with the law for only one child under population control. Abortion has also been swallowed up by the UN.

It is nice to hear from randombabble about China. I organised a documentary for the Japanese Government on single parenting. They as well as other countries are bound to become more socialised through international trade.

The women who work in these areas are very special.

Also RJ, it is nice to hear that you work in the DV area.

And to others, I do recognise that white people have been privileged. I just think that in cases it is not that way. Some things don't discriminate.

Also Renee, sorry for turning your site into a fight over men and women issues.

I live in a country where a men's DV shelter existed. I have heard from both sides what went on and the complications.

We have some shelters for men. We are finding solutions now.