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Pence Calls for End to China's Forced Abortion Policy

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Congressman Mike Pence gave the following speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives today, speaking out against Beijing, China as the site for the 2008 Olympic Games and citing China's official policy of forced abortion as going against the very ideals of the Games:

"I thank the gentleman for yielding, and thank him for his strong moral leadership on this issue. I want to commend the Ranking Member and the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee for having the moral courage to bring this resolution to the House before Congress adjourns.

"It is important that we speak truth to power. And with the 2008 Olympics in Beijing about to begin, it is important that the people of the United States be heard on our ideals as athletes from around the world and global media descend on China.

"It is important that we say as the late Tom Lantos, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a hearing last year, a few months before his death: ‘China is a police state.'

"I personally believe that the selection of China as the site of the 2008 Olympic Games was a historic error. The Olympics is a symbol of the human spirit and in that regard, a symbol of human freedom, and this police state therefore is precisely the wrong venue for a celebration of human dignity and the human spirit.

"And so I commend my colleagues' support for H. Res. 1370. I am particularly grateful for the call on the government of the People's Republic of China to end the abuses of human rights, to release those imprisoned for political and religious expression, and also challenging China to honor its commitment to freedom of the press of foreign reporters.

"While there is much talk in the media today about the cloud of smog hanging over Beijing as these Games approach, let me say from my heart: the real cloud over the Beijing Olympics is the horror of forced abortion. Therefore I am especially grateful to Congressman Chris Smith for adding an important amendment to this resolution noting that: ‘Whereas the Chinese government limits most women to having one child and strictly controls the reproductive lives of Chinese citizens by systematic means that include mandatory monitoring of women's reproductive cycles, mandatory sterilization and contraception, mandatory birth permits, coercive fines for failure to comply,' and the like. This legislation will call on the People's Republic of China to immediately end the practice of forced abortion.

"And make no mistake about it, China's policy requires that unpermitted babies be aborted. Article 25 of the Henan Province Population and Family Planning Regulations reads: ‘Under any of the following conditions, necessary remedial measures shall be taken and pregnancy terminated under the guidance of family planning technical service workers: pregnancy out of wedlock, pregnancy without a certificate or where the party already has one child.'

"In the committee we heard the most horrific stories of these so-called family planning technical service workers literally breaking into homes, dragging women in the ninth month of pregnancy off to clinics, forcing abortions on them and in one case after another, going to horrific means to ensure that the newly born child's life had been completely snuffed out.

"There is not time in this debate to recount those instances, but they are legion in China, and they result in the heartbreak of tens of millions of that country, of good and decent people.

"So I commend the Chairman of this committee, Mr. Berman, for his leadership. I commend Mr. Chabot for his leadership and especially the gentleman from New Jersey, a leading voice for the sanctity of life in the United States of America, for ensuring that this legislation, this resolution comes before the Olympics, that we speak truth to the power in the People's Republic of China, that here in the United States of America the people of this country will say with one voice ‘we believe in freedom and we believe in life and we reject the policy of forced abortion in China and urge them to do likewise at this time."

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