Thursday, June 07, 2007

You've Got to be Kidding Me

That was what I thought when I read this article on the BBC website.

As a staunch supporter of reproductive rights, I believe it is just as wrong to force a pregnant woman who wants to have the baby to have to undergo an abortion as it is to prevent a pregnant woman who does not want to have a baby from having an abortion.

But the abortion the poor woman was forced to undergo happened in 1980! That's 27 years ago. I was in the 6th grade at the time. If she was actually pregnant when she sought asylum, I would agree with the decision of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals to admit her in order to be able to give birth to her baby.

Given the tremendous amount of time that has elapsed since the forced abortion, it hardly seems fair to allow the woman in question, Li Zhen, to be eligible to apply for asylum when there are so many people around the world who are being persecuted at this very moment. Take Lina Joy for instance, the Malaysian woman I blogged about several days ago. Her own government refuses to grant her request to remove Islam from her identity card so that she can be free to marry a Christian man. Because of the publicity surrounding her case, she could be in grave danger from Muslim extremists.

Granting Li Zhen asylum because she was forced to have an abortion 27 years ago is like granting asylum to a black South African man because he was persecuted by the white minority government during the years of apartheid. The apartheid government is long gone, and Li Zhen is no longer of child bearing age. Asylum should be for people who really deserve it.


Anonymous said...

"Asylum should be for people who really deserve it."

Maybe a better way of phrasing that would be, "asylum should be for people who really need it."

Unfortunately, though, asylum is most often granted based more on domestic politics than on the needs of the asylum seekers.

Tommykey said...

Yeah, maybe. I figured the ones who really need it are the ones who deserve it.

I was thinking the same thing too, that the decision was based on domestic politics, that is to send an anti-abortion message.

What surprised me about it though is that I thought conservatives were always complaining that the 9th Circuit Court was stacked with leftist judges.