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RU 486 and Our Ties to China

October 27, 2000

 Volume 2/ Number 19

Dear Friend and Colleague:

What diminishes some humanity, in the end diminishes us all.

Steven W. Mosher


RU 486 and Our Ties to China

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

In China, a baby boy was born after a failed abortion. The population control police were not happy with this outcome, and abandoned him in a lavatory adjacent to their offices to die. A passerby–as it happened, a retired doctor–heard his cries and rescued him and returned him to his mother. The mother took him to a nearby medical clinic for emergency care. By the time she returned home with the baby, the police were waiting for her. They wrenched the child from her arms, and carried him over to the bank of a nearby rice paddy. There they held the baby boy’s head under water until he drowned.

This news reached the United States just as the US Senate began debating Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with China. (We used to call this Most Favored Nation status, or MFN, until pro-Beijing wordsmiths delicately renamed it ‘Normal Trade Relations.’) One after another, amendments to hold the Chinese government responsible for its actions were steamrollered by the pro-China trade lobby. A measure to check China’s export of strategic weapons went down to defeat. A vote to link China’s human rights behavior to trade was defeated by an even more lopsided margin. Senatorial critics had prepared other amendments, including one to encourage the Chinese government to increase foreign adoptions (rather than kill their unwanted children). Discouraged by their earlier defeats, however, they decided not to bring these amendments to the floor. Permanent Normal Trade Relations passed the US Senate without conditions. The little baby boy had died in vain.

China, of course, is not the only country that practices infanticide. The United States is itself the home of Partial Birth Abortion, a gruesome procedure in which viable unborn children are delivered feet first so that their spines can be severed and their brains sucked out. The procedure was designed to reduce the number of abortion survivors to zero, to which end it is horribly effective.

But America has recently carried the war on unborn children to new extremes. The US Food and Drug Administration in early October approved the use of RU-486. Taken early enough in pregnancy, this chemical abortifacient kills the developing embryo. As Congressman Tom Coburn has remarked, this is the first time in its existence that the FDA has ever approved a drug intended to kill.

One major hurdle for the Population Council, which holds the US Patent to RU-486, was the unwillingness of American pharmaceutical companies to manufacture this deadly drug. So the pro-population control group, through its front company, Danco, sought a manufacturer in . . . China. The Hualian Pharmaceutical Company of Shanghai, as it happened, was more than happy to produce a drug intended to reduce the number of young Americans born.

And so we come full circle. Two decades after the Carter Administration, both directly and through international organizations like the World Bank, encouraged China to radically control its population growth, we now have China unleashing a form of chemical warfare against our own people. In our own subtle way, using sophisticated arguments about achieving economic development by eliminating the poor, and with big grants from multilateral organizations under our control, we exported the Culture of Death to China. Should we be surprised that China is now exporting that same Culture of Death back to us, in the crude form of a pill intended to poison babies?

What diminishes some of humanity, in the end diminishes us all.

Population Research Institute, with your support, continues to speak out against these outrages both at home and abroad. On the China front, we are happy to announce that we will be holding a conference on November 29-30 at Family Research Council’s headquarters in Washington, DC. Called “Human Rights in China: A New Policy for a New Administration,” it will bring together leading critics of the human rights situation in China, and of the current administration’s China policy. We will have two full days of discussions about the state of human rights in China, from the recently intensified persecution of the Underground Church and the home church movement, to the denial of basic rights like freedom of speech, assembly, and the press, to the ongoing oppression of minorities in Tibet, Xinjiang, and elsewhere.

Finally, I am delighted to tell you that I will be traveling to Rome in mid-November for a private audience with the Holy Father, and meetings with other Vatican officials, which I hope will advance the cause of life.

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