Danielle Bean, a wife and mother of eight, is editorial director of Faith & Family magazine and author of My Cup of Tea, Mom to Mom, Day to Day, and most recently Small Steps for Catholic Moms. Read more of her blogging at Faith & Family Live and DanielleBean.com.
Here’s a story you might not have the stomach to listen to or read all the way through.
But I think it’s important to. These are the consequences we suffer when we allow our fellow human beings in other countries to suffer under inhumane rules of law. A Chinese couple shares a heart-rending story of being forced to abort their second child when the mother was 8-months pregnant.
After running afoul of China’s One Child policy, a Chinese couple expected to be hit with a fine. But instead, officials demanded that the woman — who was in the eighth month of her pregnancy — have an abortion, according to a new Al Jazeera report.
In telling the couple’s story, Al Jazeera reporter Melissa Chan gained access to a hospital where a distraught Xiao Ai Ying said doctors had given her womb an injection. As Chan describes it, the two spoke while Xiao awaited a procedure to remove the dead fetus.
The couple’s story, along with a separate video interview with Xiao’s husband, is heartrending. And what makes it even more unusual, according to Chan, is that it occurred in the city of Xiamen, which sits on the coast across from Taiwan. Earlier reports of forced abortions in China have mostly been centered in the rural areas of the country’s western regions.
I don’t suppose I need to tell anyone that this is barbaric. Kidnapping pregnant women and forcibly injecting their pregnant wombs with poison for the “crime” of having a second child?
Even NPR calls it heart-rending. And points out a possible motivation or the recent crackdown on “illegal” pregnancies:
Official figures published by the Xinhua news agency shed some light on why a forced abortion campaign might be judged necessary. They show that the Baise government missed its family planning targets last year. The recorded birth rate was 13.61 percent, slightly higher than the goal of 13.5 percent. This is significant because the career prospects of local officials depend upon meeting these goals.
A couple mourns their child and a little girl mourns her sibling because a local official needed to bring the birth rate down by .11 percent. I have no words for that.
Prayer for Protection of Human Life at its Beginning
God our Father, you lovingly knit us in our mothers’ womb. Grant that each human embryo will be respected as a human being, and not dismissed as a product to be manipulated or destroyed. Grant us the courage and conviction to be your voice for our sisters and brothers at the very earliest stages of their development, and for all defenseless unborn children.
Jesus, Divine Healer, foster in those conducting medical research a commitment to finding cures in ways that respect these little ones and all your vulnerable children.
Holy Spirit, grant us the wisdom to develop morally sound treatments for conditions now thought to be incurable. Help us persevere in defending human life while alleviating suffering.
Show mercy to all who have cooperated in killing our tiniest brothers and sisters. Bring them and all who support destructive embryo research to true conversion. Grant them the ability to see the immeasurable dignity of all human beings even in the first days of life.
Father, we ask this in Jesus’ name, through the Holy Spirit. Amen.