Chen Guangcheng arrived in America, barely escaping the threats he faced in his home country because he had the courage to speak out. Now that he’s here, the anti-abortion front is quickly trying to snatch him up like some sort of poster-boy for their cause. Because of his up-close-and-personal experience with forced abortions in China and his open stance against it, they think he is going to eagerly jump on their side of the debate. But they have failed to think the matter through completely.
In their effort to use Chen as a tool in the assault on women’s freedom, several organizations have been co-opting his image and trying to get him to join their ranks. The National Right to Life Committee has been citing him. The Family Research Council and several religious groups have been trying to get him to visit or speak for them. So far, all Chen has to say about the matter is that he hasn’t really given it any thought.
Considering the vast difference between women who choose to have abortions and those forced to by law and sometimes violent means, the connection that the anti-abortion front makes between Chen and their cause is somewhat short-sighted. Just because he fought injustices in his home country doesn’t mean he’s going to be against abortion completely. In fact, given his record of fighting, if I had to take a guess I’d say he’d be for freedom over regulation when it comes to the matter.
If this ends up backfiring on them, the anti-abortionists are going to feel pretty dumb. I imagine it won’t be long before Chen is put in the spotlight and forced to make a statement that will clarify his stance. In truth, I’m eager to see how they react, if they acknowledge their failure at all.