On September 25th, 1980, the Chinese government thrust population control upon every person under their sovereignty. Certain provinces in China had already started population control, and the tone for the upcoming decades had been set the year before by Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping who said, “Use whatever means you must to reduce the population, but do it!” And in September of 1980, the program known as the One Child Policy began to be enforced throughout all of China.
As the Chinese government was instituting their anti-natal policy, a young American academic was engaged in anthropological research in the Chinese countryside. The young man was a doctoral student at Stanford University eager to study Chinese anthropology. Instead, he uncovered the most pervasive human rights abuse of his generation.
The young American saw young women who were pregnant with “illegal” children being incarcerated to await the abortions of their late-term pregnancies. He saw viable infants forcefully removed from inside their mother’s bodies while their mothers wept.
These horrific violations of human rights were (and are) the direct result of the population control policy imposed upon the Chinese people by a tightly controlled political regime. China’s population control policy is not a governmental suggestion about family size; rather, it is an authoritarian mandate that dictates the timing and circumstance of reproduction. Although China recently allowed more couples to receive a second birth permit, the Chinese government still retains tight control over procreation, and human rights continue to be systematically violated en masse.
The young man saw all these things firsthand. He had left for China as an academic, but he returned to the United States an activist.
That young man was Steven Mosher. Now, 34 years after the nationwide implementation of population control in China, he is still fighting to end forced abortions, involuntary sterilizations, and government control of procreation—in China and around the world.
It’s a good day to remember the people in China who are suffering at the hands of their own government. Today’s anniversary is the time to reflect on these vulnerable members of the human family and resolve to assist them. There is much yet to do. Join the fight to end China’s One Child Policy.
For those who have been following our work, thank you for your support as we fight for the people of China whether it’s been with your gifts, by passing on our research, or by engaging the issues on Facebook or Twitter.
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