Chinese Church Voices

An Anti-Abortion PSA and a Call for the Church to Repent

Chinese Church Voices is a weekly column of the ChinaSource Blog providing translations of original writing by Christians in China. The views represented are entirely those of the original author; inclusion in Chinese Church Voices does not imply or equal an endorsement by ChinaSource.

In March of this year, the Chinese Ministry of Health released a report, claiming that 336 million abortions have been performed since the beginning of the One-Child Policy in 1971. Here's how The Telegraph covered the release of the report:

"More than half a billion birth control procedures, including at least 336 million abortions, have been performed in the name of the one-child policy, China's Health ministry revealed yesterday.

The figure illustrates the enormous impact that the one-child policy has had on China in the four decades since it began.

Official statistics showed that in addition to the terminations, Chinese doctors have sterilised 196 million men and women since 1971.

Perhaps unexpectedly, most people in China support the one-child policy, believing that the country would have suffered an impossible drain on food and resources without it, according to a 2008 survey by the Pew Research Centre, which found more than three in four Chinese were in favour.

There are more than 13 million abortions a year, or 1,500 an hour, in China, according to government researchers, who blame the high figure on a lack of sex education."

Because the One-Child policy is not something that can be openly challenged, churches and individuals in China have typically not dealt with, or even addressed the issue of the morality of the policy in general or abortion specifically. In recent months, however, there have been a few who are starting to speak out, mostly via blogs and microblogs.

The following article from the mainland site Gospel Times tells of an anti-abortion public service announcement that was posted online as well as played on Bus-TV in Chengdu, urging people to avoid having abortions on International Children's Day (June 1), and of other anti-abortion activities in Changchun, Jilin. The blogger in question then calls on the church to repent of the sin of neglecting this moral issue.

Childrens Day is approaching. What should Christians be paying attention to on this day? On May 26 I saw a Weibo post discussing the CCTV program China Flow about abortion in China. At the end, the writer of the post wrote the following: "Please follow @DontAbortOnChildrensDay

On May 27 a 13-second public service announcement also appeared on Sina Video which said What is the weight of life? What do you think about the fact that there are 13 million abortions in China each year? Follow @DontAbortOnChildrensDay on Sina Weibo.

Then I went to the Weibo page of @DontAbortOnChildrensDay and discovered that the public service announcement had been broadcast on Chengdu Bus-TV. I also learned that many Christians have been engaged in anti-abortion activity on Childrens Day.

Last May, they took to the streets and went to the most well-known abortion hospitals in Chengdu passing out anti-abortion leaflets. This year, they printed ten thousand public-service leaflets which said Dont Abort on Childrens Day- the Best Gift for Children and distributed them to college students. What's more, they shared the electronic version of the leaflet on the Internet for people to download. Some of the brothers and sisters in Changchun downloaded the leaflet and revised it according to the local situation, and then distributed it to people in Changchun.

@DontAbortonChildrensDay also believes that when it comes to abortion, the Church should be the first to repent. In one of its shared articles titled No True Repentance, No True Church, it says According to the results of a questionnaire done in the church, it is revealed that among these 13 million sins, some of them have been committed by Christians. Furthermore even some who have been Christians for a long time dont know that abortion is a sin or why it is considered a sin.

Original article: 儿童节反堕胎广告于公交电视播出 最先悔改的应是教会

For further reading:

13 million abortions carried out every year in China, newspaper reveals (July 30, 2013, The Guardian)

336 million abortions under China's one-child policy (March 15, 2013, The Telegraph)