Amazon Prime Video recently released a new docu-movie titled “One Child Nation.” The movie centers around the policy that China implemented for nearly four decades, forcing families to have only one child. Though some argue that this movie has an implicit feminist worldview, I would suggest that the vivid images and consequences of abortion build a strong pro-life case while not specifically taking sides. The film follows the director Nanfu Wang as she returns to her hometown in China to learn about her own family’s experience with the One Child Policy.
Wang discusses the policy with her mother, Zaodi Wang, in the opening scenes of the documentary, where Zaodi shares that she personally had seen families’ houses demolished because they refused forced sterilization. When asked what she thought of the policy, Zaodi shrugged and said, “What could we do?” It was never her desire to have to abandon a child or have an abortion, but that was a very real possibility for her living in China during the One Child Policy.
One of the first interviews conducted was a former family planning official with the Chinese government, Huaru Yuan. She brokenly explained that she had conducted, at her estimation, 50,000 to 60,000 abortions during her time. While many figures in the film expressed passivity and an attitude of defeat, this now fertility doctor explained that she wished she had stood up and spoke out. The woman shared stories of chasing women down to perform abortions or sterilization procedures on them. Yuan also talked about the commonality of inducing labor and killing the babies after they were born; according to the film, most abortions took place at around eight to nine months gestational age.
An article the New York Times published stated, “Families that didn’t cooperate had their homes destroyed and their possessions seized. Women endured forced sterilizations and late-term abortions; a midwife says she performed tens of thousands of sterilizations and abortions, adding, ‘Many I induced alive and killed.’”
This is the horror that abortion can become. Family planning and population control through the use of abortions has never worked in the past, nor will it in the future. China is now struggling because there are not enough young people to take care of the aged. There aren’t enough workers going into the workforce. The projected numbers of aborted children in China over the 31 years the policy was in place range from 330 million to 400 million. That is an astronomical number, having an extremely detrimental effect on the country in population levels, the economy, and the brokenness of the people it affected. Even though the numbers of abortions in America are smaller, it is still in the tens of millions. If this continues, how much could it potentially affect our economy or further worsen our culture’s disrespect for human life?
Throughout the video, some photos of aborted babies or infants preserved in jars were shown. The director also interviewed an artist, Peng Wang, who, in a desperate attempt to make sure history was not forgotten, photographed infants he found in trash heaps or alongside the road. The abandoned and mutilated bodies found in medical waste bags or just lying exposed paint a picture of the harsh reality of the policy: the Chinese government was forcing parents to murder their offspring. The images also showed the violent nature of abortion. The little broken and bloodied bodies showed the truth about abortion: it isn’t healthcare. It’s a death sentence.