Washington (AsiaNews) - In a few hours, about half a million people are expected in the US capital for the annual March for life against abortion. It is the 40th anniversary of the first rally by the pro-life movement. Today's event includes prayers and in-depth discussions about life and what threatens it in the world.
This year, the Pro-Life Recognition Award goes to Reggie Littlejohn whose organisation, Women's Rights Without Frontiers, has opposed forced abortions and sterilization in China.
What follows is the speech she will deliver tonight.
It is truly humbling to receive this award, which I accept on behalf of the women and children of China, who suffer unspeakably under China's brutal One Child Policy. The fact that you have chosen to recognize my work to end forced abortion and gendercide in China indicates that the focus of the U.S. pro-life movement extends beyond the shores of this land to human rights atrocities occurring on the other side of the earth -- at the hands of a brutal totalitarian regime, the Chinese Communist Party.
You may have heard reports that China is ending its One-Child Policy. This is untrue. As recently as January 14, 2013, Wang Xia, Chairman of the National Population and Family planning Commission, stated, "We must unwaveringly adhere to the One Child Policy as a national policy to stabilize the low birth rate as the primary task." China's One Child Policy is here to stay.
The magnitude of suffering is almost unimaginable. Since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, the U.S. has had about 55 million abortions. Since the One-Child Policy was instituted in 1980, the Chinese Communist Party boasts that it has "prevented" 400 million births. That's more than the entire population of the United States.
Many of these births are "prevented" through forced abortion. Family Planning Police drag women out of their homes and force them to abort their babies, up to the ninth month of pregnancy. Family Planning Officials also order involuntary sterilizations, and even infanticide, the killing of infants.
Because of the preference for boys, girls are targeted for abortion, just because they are girls. According to one UN estimate, up to 200 million women are missing in the world today because of sex-selective abortion.
China's One Child Policy causes more violence against women and girls than any other official policy on earth, and any other official policy in the history of the world, because of the sheer numbers involved. One woman out of every five on earth is Chinese. This is the real "war against women."
Thank you for caring about the women and babies of China. You are to be commended for taking on one of the toughest international issues of our age: the coercive enforcement of China's One Child Policy.
My question is: where is the pro-choice movement on this? Whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, no one supports forced abortion because it is not a choice. Why isn't the pro-choice movement condemning forced abortion in China? Why aren't they standing against forced sterilization? Why aren't they crying out against the selective abortion of baby girls? Right now, as I am speaking to you, women are being dragged out of their homes, strapped down to tables, and forcibly aborted and sterilized. I challenge these organizations to take a stand.
And yet there is hope. Women's Rights Without Frontiers recently launched a "Save a Girl" campaign that is saving the lives of baby girls in China. We have field workers who identify women who have had an ultrasound, discovered that they are carrying girls, and plan to abort or abandon them. We reach out to these mothers, persuade them to keep their daughters, and give them a monthly stipend for a year to help them support their baby girls. This campaign is saving lives in China. You can find it on the Women's Rights Without Frontiers website.
I am truly thankful for this award, but more than that, for every committed life in this room. May the power of every ignited heart combine to burst into a flame that will set the world on fire.