Reggie Littlejohn is a real warrior for women’s rights. The founder and president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers (WRWF), she has spoken five times before the U.S. Congress, twice at the European Parliament, and at the British and Irish Parliaments as well. She has also briefed the White House, State Department and Vatican about blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng and One Child Policy issues.
Ms. Littlejohn has been advocating for the release of Chen, whom she calls “one of the human rights giants of the twenty-first century,” since 2008. Chen became a thorn in China’s side when he began challenging China’s coercive population control policy. He and his wife have been imprisoned and tortured as a result. (For more about Chen and his stand against forced abortion, check out the WRWF’s three-minute video, “Free Chen Guangcheng!”)
Reggie Littlejohn spoke last Saturday at the Commemoration of the 23rd Anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, hosted by the Visual Artists Guild of Los Angeles. At that event she received the “Spirit of Tiananmen” Award. In a presentation that was both disturbing and compelling, she pulled no punches in her condemnation of China’s totalitarian “family planning” cruelty:
The true spirit of the Chinese Communist Party is most clearly seen in the faces of the population control police as they drag women away, beat them, strap them down to tables, and force them to abort babies that they want, up to the ninth month of pregnancy.In between that presentation and jetting off to Washington D.C., she found time to answer a few questions for FrontPage.
Mark Tapson: What inspired you to get involved in this issue and to establish Women’s Rights Without Frontiers?Reggie Littlejohn: I'm an attorney and in the mid-'90s I represented Chinese refugees in their cases for political asylum in the United States. My first refugee was forcibly sterilized. A large group of family planning officials literally dragged her screaming and pleading out of her home, strapped her down to a table, and cut through her abdominal wall to tie her tubes without anesthesia. She said the pain was unimaginable. She got a serious infection and after that suffered from chronic abdominal pain, back aches, and migraines.
That was my introduction to the reality behind the words "One Child Policy." I was absolutely appalled. In 2008 I testified about the One Child Policy at the European Parliament. There, I was told that no one had dedicated their life to this issue. The One Child Policy affects one out of every five women in the world. Because of the numbers involved, it is the greatest women's rights atrocity on earth today. I just couldn't look the other way.MT: Many people are casually familiar with China’s “One Child Policy,” but that phrase doesn’t really convey the ugly human reality of its enforcement, does it? How numerous are its victims?
RL: Before I represented my first asylum client, I knew that China had a so-called One Child Policy, but I did not know that it is currently enforced through forced abortion, involuntary sterilization and infanticide. I did not know that it leads to gendercide, the sex-selective abortion of baby girls. I did not know that because of this gendercide, there are now 37 million more males living in China. This gender imbalance is driving human trafficking and sexual slavery, not only within China, but from the surrounding countries as well.The Chinese Communist Party boasts that it has "prevented" 400 million births through the One Child Policy. That's greater than the entire population of the United States. To see the brutal truth about the One Child Policy, watch our four-minute video, “Stop Forced Abortion – China’s War on Women!” [Warning: intense and graphic images]:
MT: Why aren’t women’s rights groups in America more vocal about the horrors facing women and female babies under such a policy?RL: Any women's group that stands for choice should be jumping up and down to oppose forced abortion under the One Child Policy. Any women's group that stands for reproductive health should be crying out against forced sterilization, which often ruins a woman's health. Any group that stand for women's rights should strongly condemn the sex-selective abortion of up to 200 million women, according to one U.N. estimate.
And yet, these women's groups have been slow to take up these issues. Perhaps they do not realize the brutal truth of what is happening in China. Women’s Rights Without Frontiers is doing everything we can to make this information known. Watch the trailer to a new, feature-length documentary about gendercide in India and China, called “It's a Girl.”MT: Chen Guangcheng has been in the news quite a bit lately, the focus of a diplomatic standoff between China and the United States, but many people are only vaguely aware of what cause he’s known for. Do you think the news media intentionally downplay that, and if so, why?
RL: I believe that the news media have been reluctant to highlight the fact that Chen Guangcheng was arrested for fighting forced abortion and involuntary sterilization in China. Perhaps they feel that their “pro-choice” positions might be compromised by discussing this issue. This is nonsense. Forced abortion is not a choice!MT: What can Americans do to help?
RL: People can be a great help simply by watching our video about China’s One Child Policy and signing our petition against forced abortion, and forwarding them to their friends via twitter, Facebook or other social networking sites.
(This article originally appeared here on FrontPage Mag, 5/31/12)