An American Woman Fights for Chinese Women’s Rights

June 21, 2012 Updated: October 1, 2015
President of Women's Rights Without Frontiers Reggie Littlejohn (L),
President of Women's Rights Without Frontiers Reggie Littlejohn (L), on May 3, at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES—Working as a litigation lawyer in the 1990’s, Reggie Littlejohn first became exposed to the abuses of China’s one-child policy when she represented a woman who was applying for political asylum in the United States. The woman was forced to undergo sterilization in China after she had her first baby.

Littlejohn thus established Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, an international coalition to expose and oppose forced abortion, gendercide and sexual slavery in China.

Littlejohn spoke at a June 18 event hosted by Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, titled “Never Again is Now—China’s One-Child Policy is Genocide, Not Abortion,” held at the Luxe Hotel on Sunset Boulevard.

Before delivering her speech, Caroline Wang, a Chinese woman approached Littlejohn and embraced her with tears running down her cheeks. Wang (aka Wang Yanbing) had received much encouragement and support from Littlejohn by email after Chinese authorities subjected her to a forced abortion.

Wang was pregnant with her third child. Wang and her husband Zhang Ziming were about to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary, and they both wanted the child. But since this was a violation of the one-child policy, both were fired from their jobs.

Zhang then opened his own business to earn some money and also pay local officials a bribe fee to allow the couple to have the child. However, people from the local family planning office kept visiting Wang at home to coerce her to have an abortion. Wang was already four months pregnant, but a family planning employee told her, “We even do induced labor abortions on eight month pregnant women, don’t even think about getting away with a third child!”

Wang was forced to have the abortion. But the injection to induce labor gave her a severe allergic reaction and nearly killed her. In addition, Wang suffered prolonged emotional trauma.

Then, one day, she came across the Women’s Rights Without Frontiers website and contacted Littlejohn. The two began to communicate via email, and Wang was finally able to feel relief from her pain.

Upon meeting Littlejohn at the event, Wang told her she used to be so sad that she cried every day and kept checking her email again and again, looking for messages from Littlejohn.

Reflecting on her meeting with Wang, Littlejohn told The Epoch Times: “The emotional meeting reminds me that this stuff is real. The people affected by the one-child policy are real. It’s easy for us to get lost in the statistics, but when I see a couple standing in front of me, it gives me more of the passion to stop abortion and free Chinese women.”

She also said that the one-child policy is rooted in inducing terror among the Chinese public, especially when people are encouraged to report those who have more than one child to the authorities.

“It’s social control masked under population control,” Littlejohn said. “Reporting each other rips apart the fabric of trust in society. If you can’t trust anyone, you can’t organize a democratic movement. The one-child policy is a weapon against democracy.”

After hearing the presentation, Mark Tapson, an audience member, told The Epoch Times: “Like most Americans, I didn’t understand the one-child policy. It sounds reasonable—overpopulation is a problem. But most people don’t understand that a totalitarian regime will use it to punish you. The real human tragedy behind the one-child policy opened my eyes.”

Littlejohn was recently awarded the “Spirit of Tiananmen” Award for her efforts to free blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng. Chen had been jailed and tortured for exposing forced sterilization and forced abortions inflicted on thousands of women in Linyi, his home town in Shandong province. Chen made a daring escape from house arrest to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing last month and is now living in New York with his wife and two children where he studies law.

Read the original Chinese article.

The Epoch Times publishes in 35 countries and in 19 languages. Subscribe to our e-newsletter.