Young woman who survived China’s One-Child Policy now advocates for life

A young woman adopted from China now living in the United States is speaking out about her gratitude for her birth parents’ courage in helping her to survive China’s One-Child Policy. Her experience has led her to join the pro-life movement.

Shaohannah was born in the Guangxi autonomous region of Southern China, and told the Epoch Times that she was found abandoned in a small box when she was an infant. “I knew about China’s one-child policy for pretty much as long as I can remember,” she said. “The pressure that they put on people to have only one child, and especially in a male-driven society, to have a boy. I knew that I was one of the many girls who was abandoned and basically left to die because of the policy.”

Though her beginnings in life could lead some to feel bitter, Shaohannah said she can understand why her parents felt forced to make the choice to abandon her.

“The choices that they may have had to make might not have been the choices they would have wanted for me,” she said. But I’m very grateful for the fact that they chose an option where I was able to be rescued, and live. [My birth mom] gave me this gift in allowing me to have the life I have now. I wouldn’t have anything that I have right now if it was not for her, or her making the choices that she did, which I’m sure were not easy.”

China’s One-Child Policy was instituted over 40 years ago, and almost immediately led to discriminatory abortions, due to the cultural preference for boys. Chinese officials occasionally allowed certain parents to have two children if their first was a girl. Unfortunately, that meant if the second was a girl instead of a boy, and survived pregnancy, she was likely to be abandoned, like Shaohannah, or killed.

Still others were left in orphanages, suffering under horrible, inhumane conditions. Additionally, women who became pregnant with more than the permitted number of children were forced into abortions, often violently. Today, China has the highest suicide rate of women in the world, and violence against women is rampant.

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Shaohannah now spends her time working to save preborn children, serving as the capitol area regional coordinator for Students for Life of America (SFLA) in the Washington, D.C. area.

“A message that I want to convey is that life is a gift. It’s a gift that I’ve been given that I’m allowed to continue fighting for, and see it cherished more than it was when I was born,” she said. In July of 2022, she testified about her history before the D.C. Council, asking them, “How much is a child like me worth?”

And despite being bullied for her pro-life beliefs, she said she won’t be intimidated. “I love that I get to do something that I’m passionate about,” she said. “I’m very blessed in that I have a wonderful team, and it’s a team of people who come from different backgrounds … but we can all unite around this fact that abortion ends human life, and we’re going to work to see abortion become unthinkable in our lifetime.”

In China, there are hundreds of millions of missing children, thanks to abortion, and in the United States, there were an estimated 63 million abortions committed since Roe v. Wade was enacted in 1973. It’s numbers like those that help Shaohannah know to keep fighting.

“It’s about this culture of death. [China has] created this devaluing of life in the womb, and we have that here as well. It’s not something new. To me, that’s why part of this fight for preborn lives matters so much, because it’s taking a stand against this culture of death … desensitization and dehumanizing,” she said.

“[Roe v. Wade] was the roadblock that we got through in order to make abortion not only illegal but also make it unthinkable. We have a poster, a blueprint,” she added. “We want women to feel supported because women don’t need abortion to succeed, they don’t need abortion in order to be equal. They can have their careers, their dreams, and their children too.”

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