NPR: Putting Aside Forced Abortions...

On NPR's Morning Edition, Jan 21, 2011, co-host Renee Montagne interviewed Congressman Chris Smith, R-NJ, about discussions he was involved in yesterday with Speaker Boehner centering on China's violations of human rights. Smith noted that Speaker Boehner raised problems with China's one child per couple policy which relied on "forced abortion and forced sterilization" for over three decades and called this the "worst violation of women's rights ever."

Renee Montagne's reaction to that is shocking:

"Congressman Smith, you are a very fierce opponent of abortion rights in this country, so this would be of great concern to you, but aside from that -- give us another example of how you see the Chinese government abusing human rights..."

Listen to the audio and Montagne's hesitations and inflections, particularly on "aside from that".

It is hard to take this as anything other than Montagne implying that such horrors as forced abortion are only a real concern for abortion opponents!  Such an offhand dismissal of woman's rights may indeed mean that being pro-abortion does not necessarily mean being pro-choice, if the choice might be against abortion. Can that explain the thundering silence of American feminism in the face of China's forced abortions?
On NPR's Morning Edition, Jan 21, 2011, co-host Renee Montagne interviewed Congressman Chris Smith, R-NJ, about discussions he was involved in yesterday with Speaker Boehner centering on China's violations of human rights. Smith noted that Speaker Boehner raised problems with China's one child per couple policy which relied on "forced abortion and forced sterilization" for over three decades and called this the "worst violation of women's rights ever."

Renee Montagne's reaction to that is shocking:

"Congressman Smith, you are a very fierce opponent of abortion rights in this country, so this would be of great concern to you, but aside from that -- give us another example of how you see the Chinese government abusing human rights..."

Listen to the audio and Montagne's hesitations and inflections, particularly on "aside from that".

It is hard to take this as anything other than Montagne implying that such horrors as forced abortion are only a real concern for abortion opponents!  Such an offhand dismissal of woman's rights may indeed mean that being pro-abortion does not necessarily mean being pro-choice, if the choice might be against abortion. Can that explain the thundering silence of American feminism in the face of China's forced abortions?

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