Avraham Ebenstein, Andrew Brown, Lord Alton and Reggie Littltejohn
Lord Alton and Baroness Howe hosted the launch of a harrowing new film at the House of Lords on Tuesday evening: 'Its a Girl' - which exposes the scandal of the millions of forced abortions and killings of newborn girls taking place in India and China.
As many as 200 million female babies have been killed in the past 30 years. In India, traditionally, daughters are seen as a liability. While a son will bring money into the family, a girl must be provided with a dowry. In poorer communities girls babies are killed after birth by smothering, poisoning or other means. Richer Indian families seek illegal gender tests and abort girl babies. Dr Mutu Khurana, who fled an abusive husband that tried to force her to abort her twin girls, is now running a campaign to urge the Indian government to implement existing laws banning gender-tests and the dowry system.
In China, forced, often very late, abortions take place routinely as the government seeks to enforce its 'one-child' policy. Special police inspect women each month in workplaces, towns and villages to check whether they are pregnant. This happens in some factories producing products exported to the west. The result of these draconian laws is causing a massive gender imbalance in the population of India and China, and leading to a huge increase in sexual slavery, trafficking and the kidnapping of young girls.
The international coalition, Women Without Frontiers, founded by lawyer Reggie Littlejohn, seeks to combat gendercide in Indian and China through lobbying world leaders, education programmes, and offering practical support to women at risk of forced abortion.
David Alton quoted Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, executed by the Nazis during World War Two for his opposition to Hitler's program of euthanasia and genocidal persecution of the Jews, who said: "We have been silent witnesses to evil deeds."
In a discussion after the screening, Reggie Littlejohn said she hoped churches and other faith groups would hold screenings of the film and join the campaign. It was pointed out that many of the components of Apple computers, ipads and iphones, are produced in Chinese facilities - where women workers are subjected to monthly pregnancy checks.
For more information about the film, see: http://www.itsagirlmovie.com/
For a four minute film on forced abortions see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjtuBcJUsjY
See Women Without Frontiers here: http://www.womensrightswithoutfrontiers.org