Gay Mitchell MEP: 'China's coerced abortions violate human rights'

Gay Mitchell MEP

Gay Mitchell MEP

"Any woman being forced or coerced against her will into terminating a pregnancy is a human rights atrocity. Unfortunately, human rights experts agree that this cruel practice remains very prevalent in China where the Communist government continues to impose its One-Child Policy", Gay Mitchell MEP said today.

The Dublin MEP was speaking ahead of a meeting of the European Parliament's Working Group on Human Dignity, which was to be addressed by Dr Reggie Littlejohn, President of Women's Rights Without Frontiers and an expert on China's One-Child Policy for Human Rights Without Frontiers.

"Dr Littlejohn has previously relayed the horrifying experiences endured by women in China. They include accounts of a woman being dragged from her home and forced into abortion as late into her pregnancy as nine months, followed by sterilisation because no birth permit was obtained. That is a clear breach of basic human rights and the right to life", Mr Mitchell continued.

"The Chinese Communist Party purports to have reviewed its One-Child Policy but such changes are questionable. It would also have the world believe that compliance with the One-Child Policy is voluntary. However, according to reports by Amnesty International and other reputable research, the One-Child Policy remains coercive and encompasses forced abortion, forced sterilisation, detention of family members until the illegally pregnant woman gives herself up for an abortion. Job loss, financial pressure and the destruction of homes often result for those who escape forced abortion."

Mr Mitchell, who is Chairman of the Working Group on Human Dignity, considered today's presentation by Dr Littlejohn an essential platform which policymakers can work from. "Coerced abortion is a violation of human rights that must be condemned as we work towards raising awareness of the practice with the ultimate goal of eradicating the brutal policy that enforces it."

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