Until recently, it seemed inconceivable that the Obama administration could slide any further down the continuum of support for abortion.
Pro-lifers often refer to Barack Obama as “the most pro-abortion President in history.” As evidence of the President’s outlier status, even on the Left, they cite then-Illinois State Senator Obama’s repeated opposition to legislation that would have outlawed a certain kind of infanticide involving babies who survive late-term abortions.
With a comment last week suggesting support for China’s one-child-per-couple policy, which includes forced abortion and infanticide, Vice President Joe Biden has taken this administration a step further down the road of abortion extremism.
But Biden’s comment was most noteworthy because it exposed the fraudulence of the “pro-choice” position within the totalitarian mindset.
In his answer to a question from a Chinese student about the causes of China’s emerging demographics crisis, Biden said: “Your policy has been one which I fully understand—I’m not second-guessing—of one child per family. The result being that you’re in a position where one wage earner will be taking care of four retired people. Not sustainable.”
One shouldn’t analyze too closely the words of the verbally incontinent Biden. But it is perhaps telling that Biden acknowledged not only that he understands the one-child policy, but that he fully understands it.
There can be no doubt that Biden fully understands what that policy entails. Biden spent 36 years in the U.S. Senate immersed in foreign affairs.
China’s policy, which limits most couples to one child, was adopted 30 years ago, during the height of the world overpopulation craze. Exceptions to the one-child rule are sometimes made for rural families and for couples whose first child is a girl.
China’s Communist government boasts that 400 million births have been prevented through its policy. Many couples willingly limit their families. But coercion is common.
Couples that break the law face fines or joblessness. Prolific mothers are often beaten, forcibly given abortions or sterilized. Infanticide is not uncommon.
This is not a matter of just a handful of forced abortions. Blind Chinese pro-life activist Chen Guangcheng was arrested in 2006 for revealing evidence that 130,000 forced abortions and sterilizations were performed in a single year in a single county in China.
Female babies, those with disabilities and babies of single mothers are a particular target for this policy. Many Chinese children adopted by Western families are “illegal children,” confiscated by Chinese government bureaucrats from families that already have one child.
Days after Biden’s comments, a spokeswoman tried to clarify his position. “The Vice President believes [China’s coercive birth limitation policies] are repugnant,” explained Kendra Barkoff. “He also pointed out, in China, that the policy is, as a practical matter, unsustainable. He was arguing against the one-child policy to a Chinese audience.”
Not really. Biden’s remark suggested that if not for the demographic problems the policy has created, he’d be just fine with the forced one-child rule.
Biden’s remark is just the latest in a series of incidents in which the Obama administration has refused to stand up for human rights in China. During Hillary Clinton’s first trip to China as secretary of state, she told her Chinese counterparts that America would not allow human rights issues to “interfere” with other important matters between the countries, including climate change.
President Obama has been sheepish in criticizing China’s appalling human rights record. And Biden has clearly gotten the memo. “Maybe the biggest difference in our respective approaches are our approaches to what we refer to as human rights,” Biden told a crowd later in his China trip. “I recognize that many of you in this auditorium see our advocacy of human rights as at best an intrusion, and at worst an assault on your sovereignty.”
But as a Washington Post editorial responding to Biden’s comments noted, “Human rights are universal, enshrined by the United Nations, subscribed to (in theory) by China and every other UN member. They’re not something ‘we refer to as human rights’ ”: They are human rights, and they’re the same rights no matter where you live.”
And thousands of Chinese democracy advocates most certainly do not consider America’s human rights advocacy as “an intrusion” or “an assault” on China’s sovereignty.
Some commentators have labeled Biden’s one-child remark a “gaffe.” But as journalist Michael Kinsley famously once said, a gaffe in Washington is when a politician accidentally tells the truth.
A National Public Radio piece on the reaction to Biden’s one-child remark was inadvertently illuminating. The title of the NPR piece read, “Biden’s comment on China’s one-child policy spurs anti-abortion ire.”
Why should anger about Biden’s remark have been confined to pro-lifers?
In truth, the abortion-rights ethos is not rooted in “choice,” “privacy” or “women’s rights” as much as a totalitarian view of reproduction and population.
Many who trumpet reproductive choice and privacy at home actively work for their abolition abroad.
“Pro-choice” politicians (including Obama, Clinton and Biden) routinely vote in support of funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which has been complicit with China in its forced abortion regime.
So-called women’s groups such as the National Organization for Women dismiss the evidence, choosing instead to support UNFPA.
Notable left-wing luminaries have sometimes embraced forced population control. Obama science czar John Holdren once suggested that “compulsory sterilization” and forced abortions were a solution to overpopulation.
Once on the 2008 presidential campaign trail, Obama told an audience that he supported sex education that included information about contraception and abortion because, “I don’t want [my daughters] punished with a baby.”
Only within a mentality that sees a baby as punishment can laws that brutally punish mothers for having babies be considered “fully understand[able].”