The Chinese government announced this week at its Third Plenum that it will "fine-tune" its one-child policy, a coercive birth planning policy that has been in place for over 33 years. The changes will allow couples to have two children if one of the parents is an only child. All Girls Allowed welcomes the news of the policy's relaxation, but expresses disappointment that the Chinese government has not gone the logical and compassionate route - abolishing the policy altogether.
Economic and demographic experts agree that the policy, which limits most Chinese couples to one child, has proven disastrous for China's economic and social development. Chinese policymakers have expressed fears of over-population and resource scarcity, but now the resulting consequence of the policy is under-population. Last year, China's working-age population peaked, marking the beginning of a severe labor shortage in the years to come. Due to the gendercide of girls that has been exacerbated by the policy, there are at least 37 million more men than women, leading to steep climbs in the rates of sex trafficking, HIV/AIDS transmission and violent crime.
But the greatest indictment against the one-child policy is the use of coercion in its enforcement. Untold numbers of forced abortions and sterilizations continue to take place to this day, making it the greatest violence against women and children in the world today. In June 2012, one of these horrific crimes was exposed in a graphic photograph of Feng Jianmei's seven-month-old son, whose dead corpse was left lying next to her on the hospital bed following a forced abortion. More recently, Liu Xinwen shared on international television how her six-month-old child was forcibly aborted after Family Planning Officials kicked down her door and dragged her to the hospital. These women, who courageously came forward despite threats of repercussions, are the face of billions of unnamed mothers who have suffered the same violation of their most basic rights.
While All Girls Allowed applauds the Chinese leadership for taking the first steps to ease the one-child policy, we believe it is not enough. What about the mother who cannot obtain a birth permit simply because she is unmarried? In June, the world watched the dramatic rescue of the "sewer baby", whose mother was unmarried and gave birth in a toilet for fear of the authorities. Or what about the families that are eligible to have a second child, but get pregnant too soon? Under current law, many couples must wait at least four years to have another child. The restrictions are oppressive and unnecessary. This foolish and cruel policy should have been abolished in its entirety yesterday, not merely tweaked today.
To China's senior leadership, we call upon you to listen both to wisdom and to the cries of your people. Most importantly, we implore you to heed the commands of God, who blessed mankind and commanded them to "be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it." (Genesis 1:28) As the psalmist writes, "Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him." (Psalm 127:3) For those of you who fear that the land cannot provide for the people, remember that the Lord miraculously provided for millions of Israelites in the desert. In those days, Pharaoh attempted to impose a coercive birth planning policy upon the Hebrew people, but ultimately at great loss to Egypt as God brought plague after plague upon the people until the Israelites were set free. In the modern era, East Germany's leader Erich Honecker vowed that the Berlin Wall "will be standing 100 years from now" just months before the wall fell. For the sake of the Chinese people, fear God and do not to stand in the way of his deliverance.
To the Chinese people under threat of the one-child policy, we speak a word of encouragement and exhortation. As the Lord spoke to Joshua before the Israelites entered into the promised land, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9) Trust in God, who "did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all - how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?" (Romans 8:32) Therefore, be bold to stand up for your mothers, your wives, and your daughters, just as the Hebrew midwives in Egypt. As the scriptures say, "So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own." (Exodus 1:20-21)
Finally, to the people of God around the world who stand as witnesses to this slaughter of innocents, we call upon you to stand firm in prayer, interceding on behalf of the millions of Chinese who live in fear under the one-child policy. As Peter commanded us, "The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray." (1 Peter 4:7) Join All Girls Allowed as we pray for every Chinese child to be welcomed into this world in Jesus' name. Pray for a swift ending to this evil policy, and for the repentance of the Chinese government. For the Lord "is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9)
May our Lord Jesus, who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, come in power to heal the land and people of China!
All Girls Allowed (www.allgirlsallowed.org) was founded by Chai Ling in 2010 with a mission to display the love of Jesus by restoring life, value and dignity to girls and mothers in China and revealing the injustice of the One-Child Policy. "In Jesus' Name, Simply Love Her."