So much for “pro-choice”

posted at 8:45 am on August 24, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Gaffe (n): The accidental telling of an embarrassing truth by a politician.

Yesterday, Joe Biden’s office tried walking back his stunning, toadying remarks on China’s one-child policy by claiming, as Allahpundit wrote, that he actually meant the exact opposite of his remarks.  His remarks were clear enough to give comfort and support to a regime that forcibly aborts children and sterilizes women to support their Malthusian policies, as I argue in my column for The Week today.  Biden and Barack Obama proudly campaigned on a pro-choice platform in 2008, but the China policy that Biden professes to “fully understand” allows no choice at all in the most intimate of human interactions:

Culturally, the imposition of this policy has pushed China’s women to abort girls, as sons have the traditional duty of caring for elderly parents. This has created an ugly gender imbalance in Chinese society to the extent that some call it a “gendercide.” The report, completed by the Congressional Executive Committee on China (CECC), links that to skyrocketing suicide rates for Chinese women, which run “three to four times” higher than that of men in the rural areas where these policies get enforced most brutally.

The one-child policy has created the need for massive government intervention into the most private of marital transactions, requiring women to have IUDs inserted and only removed with permission from the state. Children born “out of plan” get no “benefits” from the government, and their parents are barred from employment and have their papers seized. And “out of plan” doesn’t just refer to second pregnancies, as the report makes clear, but any pregnancy that occurs without express permission of the Chinese government.

Biden apparently didn’t read the recommendation of the CECC in confronting China over its murderous policies:

Urge Chinese officials to cease coercive methods of enforcing birth control quotas. Urge the Chinese government to dismantle coercive population controls and provide greater reproductive freedom and privacy for women.

Bear in mind that the CECC isn’t a panel dominated by conservatives. The Obama administration has five of its own representatives on the commission; five of the other eight members are Senate Democrats, led by liberal co-chair Sherrod Brown of Ohio. This policy recommendation maintains the credibility of the U.S., even for administrations that back abortion rights at home — when an administration bothers to listen to the counsel of its own advisers.

In fact, Biden did the exact opposite of the CCEC’s recommendations.  I’d suggest reading the CCECs annual report on China; it’s quite an eye-opening experience, especially on their implementation of the genocidal “one child” policy.  Local governments enforce the policy most strictly on “migrant workers,” a particularly vulnerable population with no community support at all, apparently as a means to ultimately get rid of the population.

Women in China have no choice over their bodies.  The state enforces its policy with a totalitarian regime that requires IUDs, aborts children, and tortures and maim women who attempt to exercise choice.  Biden’s professed “pro-choice” sensibilities have been exposed as pro-abortion with this shameful suck-up to Beijing on a policy that no US envoy should profess to “fully understand.”

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Ed’s the one who called the policy genocidal. And even so, how is the POLICY gendercide when the same results occur in countries without such policies, most notably India and South Korea?

ernesto on August 24, 2011 at 11:21 AM

Perhaps since the post was about China’s one-child policy/forced abortions? Regardless, I would call both the policy and the practice itself (whether cultural, personal, government diktat, etc.) genocidal–an opinion shared by most pro life individuals.

Bee on August 24, 2011 at 11:46 AM

Because Bishops have never been political animals, EVER.

Crawford on August 24, 2011 at 11:43 AM

If I had a nickel for every person who think ‘separation of church and state’ was invented just for giggles and as a political strawman…

Uncle Sams Nephew on August 24, 2011 at 11:48 AM

The 2 brain cells in Biden’s head are still collecting unemployment benefits.

NickDeringer on August 24, 2011 at 8:53 AM

Oh, When did they find that second one?

Don L on August 24, 2011 at 11:55 AM

mankai on August 24, 2011 at 11:41 AM

Over and above all those excommunication issues, is the one of deliberate reception of the Eucharist knowingly in a state of mortal sin. It is in itself, unless remedied via the confessional, (reconciliation) is a sure path to Hades.

Don L on August 24, 2011 at 12:02 PM

Ed’s the one who called the policy genocidal. And even so, how is the POLICY gendercide when the same results occur in countries without such policies, most notably India and South Korea?

ernesto on August 24, 2011 at 11:21 AM

Wow. Really?

lorien1973 on August 24, 2011 at 12:05 PM

Don L on August 24, 2011 at 12:02 PM

That’s fine, but he is taught that he must submit his will and intellect to his bishop on all matters of faith and morality and his bishop allows him to partake. So is the bishop guilty of cooperating with evil?

mankai on August 24, 2011 at 12:06 PM

I’m not pro-choice. Pregnant teenage girls shouldn’t be given a choice. They should be marched down to the abortion clinic. And most “pro-choice” people agree with me when I say this, but then there is this strange thing that I didn’t expect. Somewhere between a quarter and a third of “pro-lifers” also express strong sympathy for my statement. It’s disappointing at first when I try horrifying them for to agree with me, but I’m glad a significant percentage of pro-lifers are more motivated by disgust for children raising children instead of the idea that killing fetuses is murder.

thuja on August 24, 2011 at 9:51 AM

So, because a girl makes a mistake, you’ll punish her offspring. Despicable.

zoyclem on August 24, 2011 at 12:14 PM

If I had a nickel for every person who think ‘separation of church and state’ was invented just for giggles and as a political strawman…

Uncle Sams Nephew on August 24, 2011 at 11:48 AM

It, of course, isn’t in the constitution, which as you well know has in it the protection of religious practice and the non-adoption of a formal religion by the government, which is far different than the anti-God activism and kicking God out of the public square that is being done today.

Those who love to use the “separation ” argument to shut God out of our society, seldom have little problem with the state crossing into the area of the church -namely on abortion, euthanasia, and personal conscience issues, or do they raise it on such issues as gay marriage, condom distribution, parental notification, exportation of funding for forced abortion, and the ever more enbcroackment of pornograpy. These are all legitimate questions better handled by religion.
That separation of Church and state is always viewed as a one way power in spite of the first amendment.

Don L on August 24, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Well then Biden can just come out and say, “Look. I didn’t mean it. I was just toadying to our loan sharks, something I know a little something about. They probably didn’t understand me anyway. I think they speak something that sounds like like Japanese.”

curved space on August 24, 2011 at 12:21 PM

“This has created an ugly gender imbalance in Chinese society to the extent that some call it a “gendercide.””

When our debt reaches $100 Trillion next year…

… I’m sure “How much for the white woman?” will be a common phrase.

Seven Percent Solution on August 24, 2011 at 12:28 PM

How can you reconcile your statement that “Pregnant teenage girls shouldn’t be given a choice. They should be marched down to the abortion clinic.” with this “agreement that it would be better for the teenager to give it up for adoption than raise it”? (‘It’ is a human child by the way).

You are unclear about what God thinks about abortion? Which God have you been following? It is absolutely, unequivocally clear what God thinks about abortion.

Trafalgar on August 24, 2011 at 10:50 AM

Thank you Trafalgar , this is the second post that I totally agree with. You said it much better then I could have.

IowaWoman on August 24, 2011 at 12:34 PM

It’s still not happening, Einstein.

Uncle Sams Nephew on August 24, 2011 at 10:42 AM

How do you know it hasn’t happened already? This country could be a lot more liberal than it is, you know. Maybe the reason it isn’t is because of the fertility gap between liberals and conservatives (which has existed a long time).

Missy on August 24, 2011 at 12:38 PM

Obama picked Biden as impeachment insurance…….
NickDeringer on August 24, 2011 at 8:53 AM

Cicero understood this 0bama – Biden situation 2100 years ago, and understood it better 80% of today’s American electorate:

“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.”

I say:
Bring on President Biden. At least he won’t actively be trying to destroy the nation.

LegendHasIt on August 24, 2011 at 12:46 PM

The legal enforcement method is through fines and additional costs for healthcare and education. Many people consider it worth it and have additional children.

Rural people are allowed a second child if the first is a girl. Non-Han are also generally allowed a second child under the policy.

DarkCurrent on August 24, 2011 at 10:34 AM

I would add that the people I’ve spoken with personally have told me that the second child is allowed after six years to let them try for a boy (no pressure, there, huh?). This is why so many abandoned children are girls, and likely have bio siblings. Children with the misfortune to be conceived before they’re allowed, are illegal–even if they’re the first ones. The parents must get permission and be a certain age to get married, be a certain age and get permission to get pregnant with their first, get permission to get pregnant with a second. Women here have no clue what it’s like to have a gov’t official monitoring their menstrual cycles, and having themselves hauled in to check the status of their IUDs if they don’t check in.

Na’tl Association of Gals should be outraged at Joe Biden’s ignorance and what his statement means to Chinese women’s reality.

hoosiermama on August 24, 2011 at 12:59 PM

mankai on August 24, 2011 at 11:41 AM

Bishops are not uniquely able to understand Tradition and the laity not, that is a misunderstanding of the hierarchy.

Bishops are called to proclaim the Gospel and to teach and protect the faith. They are to be in full communion with the Church, which means her teachings on all doctrines and dogmas declared as binding.

Individual bishops are not infallible and are capable of grave sin in their personal lives as well as in their office as bishop. It is not that they do not understand the Church’s teaching, it is that they reject it.

Many bishops agree with Biden and others who openly contradict the Church’s teachings. Or with those who think they can separate their civil lives and duties from their faith. Compartmentalization and all. They are wrong and will have to account for the scandal they have allowed among the faithful.

These bishops are as guilty as the politicians they coddle. The OT tells us that if we know of the sins of a brother and do not tell him, we are guilty of that sin. If however, we do tell them, we are not guilty.

Jvette on August 24, 2011 at 1:39 PM

Bishops are not uniquely able to understand Tradition and the laity not, that is a misunderstanding of the hierarchy…

Jvette on August 24, 2011 at 1:39 PM

Has his bishop been instructed not to offer Biden communion? If he does so (which he allows) do you believe the Bishop doesn’t understand sin or RC doctrine?

Bishops who teach in communion with the Roman Pontiff are to be revered by all as witnesses to divine and Catholic truth; the faithful, for their part, are obliged to submit to their bishops’ decision, made in the name of Christ, in matters of faith and morals, and to adhere to it with a ready and respectful allegiance of mind.

Has the Bishop been instructed by Rome?

Biden’s bishop has approved his participation. So how is Biden to conclude of his “damnation” for doing so if his bishop (to whom he is submitting his mind) says he is not partaking in sin (and thus not excommunicated)? How is Biden to conclude otherwise? It’s not as though his position on abortion is unknown to the bishop.

Because of the intimate connection of the Sacrament of Holy Communion to our life in Christ, we must be free of any grave or mortal sin before receiving it, as St. Paul explained in 1 Corinthians 11:27-29. Otherwise, as he warns, we receive the sacrament unworthily, and we “eateth and drinketh damnation” to ourselves.

If he is guilty of a grave sin and the bishop knows it, isn’t it the bishop’s duty to tell Biden (of course it is, I quoted that responsibility in a previous post). So if the bishop fails to do so, how can Biden be held accountable when a successor to the apostles approves of his participation?

mankai on August 24, 2011 at 1:58 PM

Bishops are not uniquely able to understand Tradition and the laity not, that is a misunderstanding of the hierarchy…

Jvette on August 24, 2011 at 1:39 PM

Faith does not depend upon our ability to reason to the truth but on our humility before the Truth presented to us by those to whom Christ entrusted that task. This is why the First Vatican Council taught that it is the task of the Magisterium ALONE to determine and expound the meaning of the Tradition. (EWTN Expert Answers – All caps in original)

How is Biden to be held accountable when his Bishop tells him it’s OK to partake?

mankai on August 24, 2011 at 2:00 PM

How do you know it hasn’t happened already?

Because if it had, just for an easy example, Obama would not be POTUS right now.

This country could be a lot more liberal than it is, you know.

And if your aunt had balls, she’d be your uncle.

Maybe the reason it isn’t is because of the fertility gap between liberals and conservatives (which has existed a long time).

Missy on August 24, 2011 at 12:38 PM

So is there a fertility gap or are we gonna outbreed the liberals? Which is it, Missy? Make up your mind.

Uncle Sams Nephew on August 24, 2011 at 2:02 PM

I’m not pro-choice. Pregnant teenage girls shouldn’t be given a choice. They should be marched down to the abortion clinic. And most “pro-choice” people agree with me when I say this, but then there is this strange thing that I didn’t expect. Somewhere between a quarter and a third of “pro-lifers” also express strong sympathy for my statement. It’s disappointing at first when I try horrifying them for to agree with me, but I’m glad a significant percentage of pro-lifers are more motivated by disgust for children raising children instead of the idea that killing fetuses is murder.

thuja on August 24, 2011 at 9:51 AM

I’m pretty sure pro-lifers, by definition, don’t sympathize with forcing teenage girls to have abortions. Says something about the people you hang out with, though.

MeatHeadinCA on August 24, 2011 at 2:14 PM

How is Biden to be held accountable when his Bishop tells him it’s OK to partake?

mankai on August 24, 2011 at 2:00 PM

Biden isn’t accountable to his bishop for his sins, he’s accountable to God. Regardless of whether Bishop Malooly (unfortunately my bishop also) tells Biden his “pro-choice” position is a sin or not, Biden knows that it is, and that by his continued support of that position he has excommunicated himself latae sententiae. If he presents himself to receive communion while in a state of mortal sin and is allowed to receive communion, that is something which both he and the celebrant will have to answer for.

Trafalgar on August 24, 2011 at 2:18 PM

And in Norway, they pay you to make babies. What a difference education and westernization makes.

Bob’s Kid on August 24, 2011 at 10:35 AM

I don’t think I’d be holding up Norway as an example of the wonders of Westernization. Why exactly are they paying people to have children?

MeatHeadinCA on August 24, 2011 at 2:20 PM

Don L on August 24, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Separation of church and state is not a term found in the Constitution, yes, but a term that has grown from the 1st Amendment through vast Supreme Court precedent. In other words, that it is not found in the Constitution is a bit of a non-sequitur.

A lot of the line items in your second paragraph are rather silly. Granted, issues like parental notification are examples of leftist power grabbing for the state, but gay marriage or pornography doesn’t reduce anybody’s freedom.

Black Yoshi on August 24, 2011 at 2:40 PM

Trafalgar on August 24, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Isn’t that in opposition to the doctrine of binding and loosing?

If a successor to the apostles knows exactly what Biden has said and done and has loosed him to partake, how is Biden to contradict the one he has been taught is part of a group who “alone” can rightly interpret Tradition? When the man to whom he must submit his mind on matters of faith and morals tells him it is not sin for him to partake, on what grounds can he say it is sin?

mankai on August 24, 2011 at 2:42 PM

And in Norway, they pay you to make babies. What a difference education and westernization makes.

Bob’s Kid on August 24, 2011 at 10:35 AM

We pay people to have babies. It’s called “the Great Society” and for every baby you have, you get a bigger check.

mankai on August 24, 2011 at 2:44 PM

Bishops who teach in communion with the Roman Pontiff

are to be revered by all as witnesses to divine and Catholic truth; the faithful, for their part, are obliged to submit to their bishops’ decision, made in the name of Christ, in matters of faith and morals, and to adhere to it with a ready and respectful allegiance of mind.

There is your answer. Has the bishop been rebuked by the Church? I haven’t an answer to that question.

This issue is new to the debate and sometimes the Church is slow to act on some matters. I do believe that there has been a reaffirmation of the Church’s binding teaching on this which means the bishop is guilty of grave sin, as is Biden. If the bishop has been called to account for and cease his approval of Biden’s reception of the Eucharist, the bishop would no longer be in communion with the Holy See.

The USCCB should be leading the charge on this within the US. Unfortunately, the bishops of the last several decades have been not just lax, but outright scandalous in their behavior and political leanings.

Again, the bishops are called to teach in communion with the Church. If they do not, it does not excuse a Catholic’s sin, it is rather cooperation by the bishop. Remember, we are talking about grave sin regarding a moral issue of faith and not a transgression against a church discipline.

Jvette on August 24, 2011 at 2:51 PM

I’m not pro-choice. Pregnant teenage girls shouldn’t be given a choice. They should be marched down to the abortion clinic. And most “pro-choice” people agree with me when I say this, but then there is this strange thing that I didn’t expect. Somewhere between a quarter and a third of “pro-lifers” also express strong sympathy for my statement. It’s disappointing at first when I try horrifying them for to agree with me, but I’m glad a significant percentage of pro-lifers are more motivated by disgust for children raising children instead of the idea that killing fetuses is murder.

thuja on August 24, 2011 at 9:51 AM

Holy.Mother.Of.God

You did NOT just say that. You’re joking or trying to shock people for some reason. You don’t actually believe that, do you?

BrideOfRove on August 24, 2011 at 2:51 PM

There is your answer. Has the bishop been rebuked by the Church? I haven’t an answer to that question…

Again, the bishops are called to teach in communion with the Church. If they do not, it does not excuse a Catholic’s sin, it is rather cooperation by the bishop. Remember, we are talking about grave sin regarding a moral issue of faith and not a transgression against a church discipline.

Jvette on August 24, 2011 at 2:51 PM

But your answer contradicts itself. The answer to your qualifying question is “no, the bishop has NOT been rebuked.” He remains a bishop. He remains uncorrected. he remains part of the Magisterium.

If the Church won’t rebuke him, why on earth should Biden?

If a successor to the apostles, given the authority to bind and loose, has not judged Biden to be guilty of a sin which precludes him from partaking, who are you (who is not part of the Magisterium) to say that the bishop has erred on a matter of faith and morals (especially when the Church has not)?

And how can it be that his former bishop, also a member of the Magisterium and also one who has the power to bind and loose, DID preclude Biden from partaking? Do these men not know what sin is and what it is not? If they ALONE can “determine and expound the meaning of the Tradition” and contradict one another on such a grave matter, how are any of them to be trusted? How is Biden know whether he is under eternal damnation or not when the bishops can’t agree?

mankai on August 24, 2011 at 3:01 PM

We pay people to have babies. It’s called “the Great Society” and for every baby you have, you get a bigger check.
mankai on August 24, 2011 at 2:44 PM

More specifically, the United States government pays people to have children out of wedlock. The more “progressive” nation of China pays people to kill their kids. Fifty years from now, it might be the other way around….

Read the book 1984: Power exists only in its use; and ultimate power is expressed only by its abuse. The incredibly perverse and sociopathic changes collectivists always impose on society aren’t a means to an end: the commission of atrocity for the sake of atrocity is their sole driving force. Everything else is nothing but a smokescreen for that.

logis on August 24, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Perhaps since the post was about China’s one-child policy/forced abortions? Regardless, I would call both the policy and the practice itself (whether cultural, personal, government diktat, etc.) genocidal–an opinion shared by most pro life individuals.

Bee on August 24, 2011 at 11:46 AM

So why does it matter what Biden has to say? No one in China cares anyway. If you really think it’s genocide, it sounds like you need to start boycotting Chinese products or calling for a trade tariff on Chinese imports. Bitching about Biden doesn’t achieves nothing.

bayam on August 24, 2011 at 3:18 PM

mankai on August 24, 2011 at 3:01 PM

There is no contradiction. I don’t know if the Vatican has personally rebuked Biden’s bishop. If so, I imagine that there will be further action taken if the bishop continues to thwart Church teachings. If not, I imagine it is only a matter of time. We are still in the infancy of this discussion and the Church has, as usual, been slow to respond. There are indications that the Vatican will be harsher in its criticism and future sanctions regarding it.

Also, if Biden is aware of his sin, he is not innocent just because his bishop is remiss in HIS duties. Again, no one is perfect and many bishops appointed over the last few decades are far from exemplary in their shepherding of the flock.

In the past, I might concede your point. There was a time when the average Catholic was dependent on the bishop and priest for guidance in the faith, but that time is long gone. More and more faithful are learning the faith and reading the encyclicals and teachings of the pope and the Church. The Catechism is available in every conceivable form and inexpensive to obtain. Ignorance is not longer an excuse for most.

Jvette on August 24, 2011 at 3:24 PM

So why does it matter what Biden has to say? No one in China cares anyway. If you really think it’s genocide, it sounds like you need to start boycotting Chinese products or calling for a trade tariff on Chinese imports. Bitching about Biden doesn’t achieves nothing.

bayam on August 24, 2011 at 3:18 PM

It’s not a question of what the Chinese think of Biden, it’s a question of the appropriateness of such a remark by the 2nd in line for President of the United States – a nation that should stand for liberty for the individual.

MeatHeadinCA on August 24, 2011 at 3:56 PM

So is there a fertility gap or are we gonna outbreed the liberals? Which is it, Missy? Make up your mind.

Uncle Sams Nephew on August 24, 2011 at 2:02 PM

It is possible that there is a fertility gap, that we have already outbred liberals for many years, and that currently have a more conservative country than would otherwise have been the case as a result of it. That doesn’t explain Obama being elected, obviously, but it might help explain resistance to his leftist policies as expressed in the Tea Party and the 2010 elections, or his failure to win a second term, should that turn out to be the case.

I don’t know any of this with certainty, of course. I’m just wondering. You might have been able to tell that from my use of the word “maybe.”

Missy on August 24, 2011 at 4:18 PM

Bite-me on the importance of public speaking:

“And so language, the ability not only to master the ability to put your ideas into words succinctly on a platform to communicate ideas to your own people, it is even more impressive when you have the capacity to do that and communicate your ideas, especially as future business and political and moral leaders of the world in the language of the people to whom you are speaking.”

Akzed on August 24, 2011 at 4:35 PM

What the so called “pro-life” people don’t understand is that the government that can deny a woman access to abortion is the same government that can compel a woman to have an abortion against her will. Two sides of the same coin.

The solution is to keep government out of the personal reproductive decisions of it citizens.
It’s that simple.

chumpThreads on August 24, 2011 at 8:02 PM

Women in China have no choice over their bodies. The state enforces its policy with a totalitarian regime that requires IUDs, aborts children, and tortures and maim women who attempt to exercise choice. Biden’s professed “pro-choice” sensibilities have been exposed as pro-abortion with this shameful suck-up to Beijing on a policy that no US envoy should profess to “fully understand.”

say hello to Ed’s Boomstick.

ted c on August 24, 2011 at 11:42 PM

So why does it matter what Biden has to say? No one in China cares anyway. If you really think it’s genocide, it sounds like you need to start boycotting Chinese products or calling for a trade tariff on Chinese imports. Bitching about Biden doesn’t achieves nothing.

bayam on August 24, 2011 at 3:18 PM

How many of us do you think are chinese?

This is not a question of what it means to the chinese, it’s a question of what it means to US. If it means nothing to you, I’d have to say the problem lies within you.

Also note, of the ~50 million babies that have been murdered in the US since abortion became legal, ~20 million of them (40%) have been the children of African-American women (6% of the population). That equates to roughly 1/3 to 1/2 of the current black population, depending on how you look at it. If we had done this to any other country on the planet, with the malice of forethought we used here, what would we call it?

That’s right. Genocide. Genius.

runawayyyy on August 25, 2011 at 10:17 AM

Biden is an idiot, but the last time I checked China was a sovereign nation, and if China’s people don’t like it, let them change it. It is none of our business.

woodNfish on August 25, 2011 at 12:02 PM

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