LIFE DIGEST: Chinese woman rescued babies from trash

By Tom Strode
Aug 7, 2012

Lou Xiaoying has been a one-person refutation of China’s coercive, “one-child” policy for decades.

Lou, 88 years of age and experiencing kidney failure, is being recognized as a hero after a report has surfaced of her 40 years of rescuing abandoned babies on the streets of Jinhua in the Zhejiang Province. Beginning in 1972, she saved more than 30 infants whom she found in the trash The Daily Mail reported July 30.

Also in this edition: Incentives push Chinese officials to abort women by force, Cancer survivor enjoys daughter after rejecting abortion, and Medical academy implicated in dumping of unborn baby bodies.

Her late husband, Li Zin, who died 17 years ago, and she reared four of the children and give the rest to family and friends. Her most recent rescue came when she was 82. She found her youngest son, Zhang Qilin, 7, in a garbage can.

Lou would find the abandoned babies as she sought to make a living by recycling trash.

“The whole thing started when I found the first baby, a little girl back in 1972 when I was out collecting rubbish,” she said, according to The Daily Mail. “She was just lying amongst the junk on the street, abandoned. She would have died had we not rescued her and taken her in.

“I realized if we had strength enough to collect garbage how could we not recycle something as important as human lives,” Lou said.

“These children need love and care. They are all precious human lives.”

Of her youngest, Zhang, she said, “Even though I was already getting old I could not simply ignore the baby and leave him to die in the trash. He looked so sweet and so needy. I had to take him home with me.”

Her older children help care for Zhang, she said.

Lou has one biological daughter, Zhang Caiying, 49.

China’s compulsory population control program, which was implemented in 1979, generally limits couples in urban areas to one child and those in rural areas to two, if the first is a girl. The policy has resulted in many reports of authorities carrying out forced abortions and sterilizations, as well as accounts of infanticide.

Incentives push Chinese officials to abort women by force

Local family planning officials have vested interests in forcing abortions on Chinese women, an expert on China says.

Recent accounts of forced, late-term abortions have brought China’s coercive, “one-child,” population control policy to the world’s attention in a way that is possibly unprecedented since it was instituted in 1979.

In a July 25 column for the South China Morning Post, Jackie Sheehan said such “[c]oercion and violence are integral parts of the system.”

“The people who track down pregnant women to carry out unwanted terminations do it not because they are evil or unfeeling,” wrote Sheehan, senior fellow at the China Policy Institute and associate professor at the School of Contemporary Chinese Studies of the University of Nottingham in England. “They do it because of powerful incentives to meet family-planning targets.”

She said, “Disappointing their superiors by failing to meet targets has serious career consequences, whereas violating the rights of ordinary citizens, an occasional international scandal notwithstanding, results only in temporary suspension or demotion. The understanding is that local officials do whatever dirty work is necessary to keep the numbers right and in turn their bosses look after their interests.”

China’s population control program generally limits couples in urban areas to one child and those in rural areas to two, if the first is a girl. Parents in cities may have second babies if the husband and wife are both only children. The policy has resulted in many reports of authorities carrying out forced abortions and sterilizations, as well as accounts of infanticide. It has helped produce a dramatic gender imbalance because of the Chinese preference for sons.

Women who do not have birth permits typically must pay fines to give birth. Otherwise, officials may forcibly abort their babies.

“These social compensation fees have become a vital component of local officials’ income, covering overtime, bonuses, pensions and travel expenses,” Sheehan wrote. “Officials lose points for every out-of-quota birth in their area and earn cash bonuses for every abortion and sterilisation [sic] they enforce.”

Cancer survivor enjoys daughter after rejecting abortion

British mother Lyndsey Crowder is enjoying life with her 4-year-old daughter after refusing an abortion while she had life-threatening cancer.

In late 2007, Crowder learned she was pregnant, only to find out weeks later she had Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system, according to The Daily Mail. Her husband, Nick, and she had already suffered the stillbirth of a daughter and miscarriages of twins.

Physicians told her she might have only weeks to live and offered abortion or chemotherapy among her options. They told Crowder they did not know how pregnancy would affect her health or what effect the chemo might have on her unborn baby, The Daily Mail reported Aug. 1. She underwent eight rounds of chemotherapy.

“I thought, I can deal with the cancer but I cannot lose another baby,” Crowder said, according to the newspaper. “I just knew I would do whatever it took to get that child into the world. The rest was in God’s hands.”

She said, “To my mind there was no choice. But I knew I had to give the baby a chance.

“I had scan after scan to check on the baby and even though everything looked fine it wasn’t until she was born and I saw her that I could believe she’d be okay.”

After the delivery of Sidney Rose by Caesarean section at 34 weeks, an emergency scan showed the cancer had spread throughout Crowder’s body. She received more chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant.

Crowder, 34, has been in remission for 30 months.

Medical academy implicated in dumping of unborn baby bodies

A medical academy reportedly is behind the dumping of the bodies of nearly 250 unborn children in the Ural Mountains of western Russia.

An employee of the Urals Medical Academy in Ekaterinburg told police the school routinely had routinely dumped the bodies of unborn babies, according to a July 31 report on the website of RT, an English language news channel that reports on Russia. The employee said 10 barrels of fetal remains were dumped in May in addition to four barrels containing 248 bodies that were discovered recently. The location of the 10 barrels of bodies has yet to be learned, RT reported.

In searching academy property, police found an agreement between it and a waste disposal company operated by the Ekaterinburg administration. Academy workers said barrels of unborn babies’ bodies were placed on the waste company’s truck to be taken to a forest for dumping, according to RT.

Several hospitals supplied Urals Medical Academy with fetal remains for research, reported.

The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission works to protect the sanctity of human life. If you would like to learn more about this issue, additional resources are available here. Our free, downloadable Impact resource is also available online. If your church is interested in purchasing materials on the sanctity of human life, please visit our online bookstore and

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