Photo by Isaac Mao
Shorter Maggie Gallagher: Just because I have no understanding of the concept of human [of the female persuasion] rights doesn't mean I don't have an opinion about it.
Reminded of the horrifying fact that [i]n China the government owns everything, including women's bodies by the government's announcement that families with only one child killed in the recent earthquake can now obtain a certificate to have another child, Ms. Gallagher does not hesitate to showcase her ignorance (emphasis mine):
Tibetan Buddhists have their friends in Hollywood, and the international human rights community still frowns on torturing political activists. But China's brutal oppression of women's bodies and basic disrespect for human life generates a collective yawn in the Western human rights community.
Throw an AIDS/HIV activist in jail? International outrage, naturally. But who really cares about the right of an ordinary Chinese woman to have her baby?
Chinese population policies spawn an ambivalent (at best) reaction in the West because so many agree with the goal, they tend to downplay or ignore the means.
Let's keep this simple so that even Maggie Gallagher can understand:
1) Opposition to a government's brutal oppression of women's bodies and basic disrespect for human life, irrespective of manifestation -- forced pregnancy or forced abortion -- is the essence of any human rights community.
2) Who really cares about the right of an ordinary Chinese woman to have her baby? The exact, same, very people who care about the right of an ordinary American woman to have an abortion.
3) In the West (or the East, or Mars for that matter) the goal of human rights for women isn't that of Chinese population policies, namely population control via government ownership of women's bodies.
And just so we're clear, when you contemplate Mahire's ordeal, keep in mind that a woman subjected to a forced pregnancy requires over nine months of constant government surveillance, bureaucratic interference, and forced examinations and medical procedures.
Bottom line: Only the few as ignorant as Maggie Gallagher tend to downplay or ignore the fact that both forced pregnancy and forced abortion are governmental means of brutal oppression of women's bodies and basic human rights violations.