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CNN Reports On China’s ‘One-Child Policy,’ Implications For Women

CNN reports on how “[t]he issue of forced abortions — and in some cases, forced sterilizations — in China has seized the spotlight in recent days with news of escaped activist Chen Guangcheng,” who “rose to fame in the late 1990s because of his advocacy for what he calls victims of abusive practices, such as forced abortions, by Chinese family planning officials.” China’s so-called “one-child policy has been blamed for abuses,” the news service reports. The news service writes, “In some cases, advocates say, fetuses identified as female are aborted, … abandoned, left to die or raised as orphans,” as “Chinese traditionally prefer boys over girls.” CNN describes several reports from women’s health advocates working in China of women undergoing forced abortion and sterilization; a report from the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, “created by Congress to monitor human rights and the rule of law in China”; and the State Department’s 2009 Human Rights Report, the news service notes.

“On a January 2011 visit to the United States, Chinese President Hu Jintao reportedly denied that China was forcing women to submit to abortions,” CNN writes, adding, “Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) who gave Hu a list of human rights concerns, said that Hu insisted a forced-abortion policy did not exist, according to media reports.” And “[i]n November, according to state-run news agency Xinhua, Premier Wen Jiabao, in a speech to the National Working Conference on Women and Children, ‘urged banning illegal fetus gender identification and illegal abortion,'” according to the news service. China has started a national campaign to reduce the rates of “‘non-medical sex determinations and sex-selective abortions to balance the gender ratio,’ Xinhua said,” according to CNN (Hayes/FlorCruz, 5/1).