On today’s show (#theworldasilike) we continue our conversation on the exploitation of women through misogyny and sexism with Detective Darnley Small.
There is some good news on this front:
The governor of Maine has signed a bill that would expand the rights of those seeking abortion according to Vox.
Along with California, Maine would allow “non doctors” to perform abortions within a medical facility like a clinic.
Two dozen other states allow non doctors to prescribe abortion related medication.
A victory in Missouri
As discussed in our last blog post, the right has been working overtime to restrict access to abortion clinics in states around the country.
In Missouri, the Department of Health and Senior Services called for the immediate shutdown of the last abortion provider in the state.
The clinic, a planned parenthood operation, was in jeopardy of not having its license renewed due to what the state called “unspecified deficient” practices.
The clinic sued the state and on Monday a judge issued a preliminary injunction which will keep the clinic open.
The battle in Missouri is far from over.
China One Child Policy
In today’s podcast, Detective Small talks about the controversial one child policy in China.
This was a plan that began in 1949 under Mao Zedong to curb the rapidly growing population within the communist country according to Britannica.com.
The program was intended to be applied universally, although exceptions were made—e.g., parents within some ethnic minority groups or those whose firstborn was handicapped were allowed to have more than one child.
It was implemented more effectively in urban environments, where much of the population consisted of small nuclear families who were more willing to comply with the policy, than in rural areas, with their traditional agrarian extended families that resisted the one-child restriction.
Methods of enforcement included making various contraceptive methods widely available, offering financial incentives and preferential employment opportunities for those who complied, imposing sanctions (economic or otherwise) against those who violated the policy, and, at times (notably the early 1980s), invoking stronger measures such as forced abortions and sterilizations (the latter primarily of women).
In our podcast Detective Small says the punishment for having more than one child was that families had to “kill the child”.
While not explained in detail, I believe he was talking about forced abortions.
A documentary called One Child premiered at the Sydney Film Festival this year and it goes into horrific detail on what it called China’s “war against its own people”.
One Child Nation shows how deeply embedded this distorted message was, and still is, in Chinese minds, while the horrific consequences of the policy’s implementation are still not recognised.
Along with co-director Jialing Zhang, she discovered how little she knew about the forced sterilisations, mass abortions, child abandonment and state-sponsored kidnappings that took place over three decades.
She spoke to a village leader who said he was forced to destroy the homes of those who had more than one child and how party officials would descend on a community where women refused to be sterilised.
They would strap them to wooden frames “like pigs” and drag them away for forced sterilisation.
“It was really f**ked up,” the village leader recalls in the film. “I couldn’t bear to watch.”
The filmmakers also spoke to a midwife who said she carried out between 50-60,000 sterilisations and abortions, saying she counted this “out of guilt” because she “aborted and killed babies”.
The one child policy ended 2015 and became a “two child policy”.