Filed under: Inspirational Pro-life leaders
We are highlighting two men who are real heroes for the unborn: Yesterday, we drew attention to Elias Biscet, today we will feature Chen Guangcheng.
On August 24, 2006 Chen Guangcheng was sentenced to four years and three months’ imprisonment. The official charge was for disrupting traffic and damaging property, charges his wife, Yuan Weijing, and critics say were concocted by officials angry at his exposure of forced late-term abortions in his hometown in Shandong province.
“He may have lost his sight as a child, but Chen Guangcheng’s legal vision has helped illuminate the plight of thousands of Chinese villagers. Last year officials initiated a forced abortion and sterilization campaign against women in Shandong province who were deemed ineligible to bear another child under China’s strict family-planning policy. Even though national regulations prohibit such brutal measures, no one except Chen was willing to confront local officials, who may have felt that lowering the number of extra births would help their political careers. By filing a lawsuit on the women’s behalf, he became a hero in Shandong and an important player in China’s nascent civil society. “Someone has to fight for people with no voice,” he said last fall. ‘I guess that person is me.'”
“Distraught citizens (had) asked him if he could do anything about the coerced abortions and sterilizations. At least two women had been forced to abort their babies just days before their due dates. Chen traveled to Beijing to see what he could do. His drumbeat advocacy prompted the usually reticent State Family Planning Commission to call for the arrest of any officials who break the law.”
Since his arrest, his wife Yuan Weijung, has been harassed, detained and under 24 hour surveillance. Here she was attempting to fly to the Philippines to pick up a Magsaysay award – sometimes referred to as Asia’s Nobel prize – on behalf of her husband. She was not allowed to leave the country.
Let us keep Chen Guangcheng and his family in our prayers.
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