Human rights violations cannot be ignored

By The Hon. Steve Stockman, U. S. Representative, Ninth District, Texas

July 1995 – Cannibalism of fetuses and harvesting of organs in China – it sounded too vile to be true. When I fi rst heard the news reports, I couldn’t believe this kind of disrespect for humanity was taking place. Being just a little skeptical of media reports myself, I wanted to write it off as a piece of sensational journalism. To acknowledge that it was true would be horrifying, especially considering current U.S.-China trade relations.

Most Favored Nation (MFN) status to a country that uses human beings as a commodity is a mockery of everything for which America stands. However, when source after source, including the National Right to Life Committee, Puebla Institute, Physicians for Human Rights, and Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA), came forth with the same allegations, my stomach turned. We have a responsibility to investigate these heinous allegations, and if they are true we must repeal China’s MFN status.

The charges against the Chinese government are documented in testimonies from Congressional hearings and newspaper reports. On April 12, 1995, the Eastern Express ran a front page story alleging that Chinese government hospitals are engaged in the sale of aborted fetuses for internal consumption by humans. Just for the record, this paper is no tabloid. The Eastern Express is a credible English-language newspaper in Hong Kong that is regularly quoted by the Associated Press, United Press International, Reuters and the Times of London – a fact which makes the following all the more disturbing.

As part of an undercover investigation, Eastern Express reporters traveled to Shenzhen and allegedly purchased human fetuses specifically for use as health food. Not only did the reporters find doctors who will admit to eating embryos; these same doctors actually performed the abortions, and offered their favorite ways of preparing the babies.

“I wash them with clear water until they look transparent white, and then stew them,” Dr. Zoy Qin said. “Making soup is best. Fetuses are very smelly, and not everybody can take the stink. You can also make meat cakes by mincing fetuses with minced meat, but you have to add more ginger and chives to get rid of the smell.”

Embryos are sold for 10 Hong Kong dollars each (about $1.25). One doctor said, “They can make your skin smoother, your body stronger and are good for your kidneys.” The reporters allege a doctor in Luo Juo clinic in Hubei province where hundreds of abortions are performed every year, said she had eaten more than 100 babies in the past six months. “They are wasted if we don’t eat them,” she said. “The women who receive the abortions don’t want the fetuses.”

But the horror stories don’t end there. Human rights groups and exiled Chinese doctors have confirmed suspicions that the Chinese government is involved with the selling of human organs taken from executed prisoners for transplantation in wealthy recipients.

According to the Sunday Morning Post in Hong Kong, Guangzhou’s Military Medical University No. 1 is able to schedule organ transplant operations around executions. Professor Yu Lixin, deputy director of the hospital’s kidney transplant center, said the hospital had enough kidneys to perform transplants on short notice. China usually executes large numbers of prisoners during holidays to deter crime. The May 1 holiday brought a flood of patients to the Guangzhou hospital because they were told “the kidneys will be sent to the hospital immediately after the execution.”

A patient with a lot of cash on hand can purchase a kidney, dialysis treatment, and an operation for approximately $195,000. According to the interview with Professor Yu, the money has to be paid when the transplant is performed.

The recipients interviewed had little compassion for their donors. To one Mr. Ma, it seemed a simple matter of convenience. “A lot of people have come here recently because there are a lot of executions now,” he explained. “Otherwise, they would have to wait until August or September when it is the Mid-Autumn Festival holidays. If I don’t have a transplant here, how long will I have to wait in Hong Kong? I don’t want to have this disease for the rest of my life.”

The hospital is reportedly full of patients like Mr. Ma. The seven floor center has 30 beds for dialysis and 100 beds for patients waiting for transplants. During the May 1 holidays, no bed was vacant.

However, if Hong Kong news sources seem too far away to be true, how about the Washington Times? On June 1, 1995, the Times ran a front page article about the Chinese government’s new policy toward abortion. According to the Times, China’s new law recommends abortion of abnormal fetuses to ensure that the one child allowed most couples is healthy. Senior obstetrician Sun Nianfu of Beijing’s premier Capital Hospital defended the law by saying, “Couples in China can have just one child and they want that child to be a healthier child.”

If these horror stories are true, America has a responsibility as a world leader to take a stand against these injustices. Last year, President Clinton de-linked the MFN trade status from human rights. This year, MFN is up for China again. I cannot sit by and see our country reward China for their complete and total lack of regard for human life by granting them this status. As Congressman Wolf said, “Violating human beings for profit is an issue every member of the administration should be concerned about, whether or not human rights and trade are de-linked.”

The United States must condemn these atrocities as clearly and as completely as we can. As a member of the U. S. Congress, I will do all I can to see that these allegations are investigated. China’s total lack of respect for the unborn and the condemned cannot go unnoticed. America is the only superpower left. How can we look the other way while unborn babies are eaten and human parts are bought and sold to make a profi t for the government? The answer is simple – we cannot.

U.S. policy toward China must change. In this global society, the Chinese are as much our neighbors as are our fellow Americans. We cannot sit quietly by and ignore this kind of behavior regardless of whether it is happening across the street, or across the ocean.

As the nation has not responded to pleas from human rights groups and other leaders, we must speak to them where they will listen – their wallets. If profits mean so much that human remains can be bought as cheaply as $1.25 and sold for as much as $200,000, the Chinese government doesn’t deserve to get any great trade deals from the U. S.

I have sponsored a bill that will repeal the MFN trade status for China, until something is done about these depraved practices. I personally cannot sit by and do nothing.

Politically correct or not, it’s time we begin to stand up for what is right. There are absolute truths that cross all cultures, and one of them is that human life is sacred. I trust that someday all people will see this as truth. Until then, those of us who know have a responsibility to make our understanding clear. If we are to make any gains in the fight to protect the unborn here at home, we must now stand up for human life everywhere. China should not continue to benefit from MFN status until these truths are realized.

If you are outraged at the way human life is reduced to a commodity to be bought and sold, I urge you to take action as well. Write your U. S. Representative and urge him or her to sign the Stockman bill to repeal China’s MFN status. Together we can take a stand for life.  undefined