In China, ‘Sterilization Enforcement’ an Unlikely Rung on Ladder to Success (Video)

By Chen Yilian, Epoch Times
December 21, 2010 Updated: December 30, 2010
Chinese Human Rights Defenders Call for End to One-child Policy (NTD Television)

The case of a couple from China’s Yunnan Province, recently published online, shows how promotions and bonuses for local Communist Party cadres are linked to their dogged pursuit of the quotas set by higher-ups—including quotas on the most intimate of subjects, like a woman’s sterilization.

Song Banghui, his wife, and their two children live in Yudongxiang, Zhaotong City, Yunnan Province. Song described the repeated forced sterilizations of himself and his wife on a post online and in interviews; he says the incidents have left the two traumatized and physically incapacitated. They say local government official are indifferent to their suffering and are only interested in reaching sterilization quotas set by the state.

Song told The Epoch Times that in 1999, after their first child was born, he volunteered to be sterilized because his wife was not in good enough health to undergo the operation. He said after the operation he was no longer able to perform heavy labor.

In spite of his operation his wife became pregnant again, and gave birth to their second child. Song didn’t think that having the baby would be a much of a problem.

“I thought: even though we had a child unexpectedly, we are OK with the government because I have already been sterilized; the government is not likely to find fault with my family,” Song said.

But on July 30, 2004, local authorities forced his wife to also be sterilized. The operation was completed, and five and a half years passed without incident. Then, on Jan. 23 of this year, birth control agents came knocking at the couple’s door again: Mrs. Song was to undergo one more sterilization.

Sterilization Quotas

Lu Bin, the deputy director of the township, along with several people from the Family Planning office, seized Mrs. Song directly from her home. The couple showed Lu the certificates from the two previous sterilizations, but he was not interested.

Mr. Song pleaded with Lu not to sterilize his wife again. Lu replied: “If she does not submit to it, how can I reach the quota? If I cannot reach the quota, my career is in danger and I will lose my job.”

Mrs. Song was forced to undergo a second sterilization. Apparently she was unable to speak to the surgeon before the procedure, because when he cut her abdomen open he was surprised at what he found. “This person has already been successfully sterilized,” he called out loudly, according to the online account.

Lu, who was standing guard outside the operation room, yelled back: “Whatever! You’ve already opened her abdomen, so it can be counted as one more sterilization I have enforced. Go ahead and close it up!”

Above the Law

Mr. Song says that after the second surgery his wife was in great pain and is now effectively disabled.

“Now my wife feels numb all over her body. She cannot do much work, not even taking care of the kids. We are living in hell,” he said.

Song said he and several families went to Lu to complain, but were beaten by over 20 men—he believes they were hired thugs.

He made a report to the Public Security Bureau, but was told by a police officer that they could not do anything about it. “In Yudongxiang, the Family Planning office is beyond the reach of law,” the officer said, according to Song.

Song said he had nowhere to plead his case but on the Internet. So he posted the following message, in part: “We have been sterilized three times—enough to enter the Guinness [Book of] World Records. The deputy director of the township, Lu Bin, is ignoring human life and violating the law only to reach his quota. Who will be responsible for our suffering? Shouldn’t Lu Bin be investigated for his acts of kidnapping villagers for sterilization?”

Locals say that Lu, who is in charge of enforcing the one-child policy locally, began implementing the “triple sterilization” requirement for couples about three years ago in order to advance his political career, and fill his pocketbook.

Lu was said to have resorted to the policy because the majority of local people of child bearing age are migrant workers. Migrant workers often move about and cannot be easily monitored and managed, making it more difficult for the local government to see them sterilized thoroughly.

Victims of One-Child Policy

The one-child policy enforced by the Communist Party over the last three decades has caused a severe sex ratio imbalance and violates women's rights, according to Women's Rights in China and other rights groups.

The organization regularly appeals for victims of the one-child policy, and has demanded the Chinese regime cease carrying out forced abortions. They have called for criminal responsibility for the birth control personnel who have enforced the policy, sometimes to disastrous effect, on individuals and families across China.

China has the highest female suicide rate of any country in the world, and has become the only nation in which more women kill themselves than men, according to Women's Rights Without Frontiers. Reggie Littlejohn, founder and president of the group, places the blame for that on this policy and its attendant system of fines and penalties against those who run afoul of it

Littlejohn testified before the U.S. Congressional Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission on Nov. 10, 2009, saying “In my opinion, forced abortion, forced sterilization and infanticide as they are practiced in China today constitute crimes against humanity… oppressing 1.3 billion people—one fifth of the population of the earth.”

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