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Chen Guangcheng REV
AAPLOG Statement on Chen Guangcheng
We are grateful for the efforts of Congressman Chris Smith, Reggie Littlejohn, President Obama and Hillary Clinton for securing the release of Chen Guangcheng and his family. Chen has undergone four years of imprisonment, and house arrest since 2010 for documenting thousands of forced abortions and sterilizations in Linyi, Shangdong province. Before his arrest in 2006 Chen held community meetings with testimonies of women forced to undergo third trimester abortions and persons harassed and tortured because family members had unauthorized pregnancies. We remain concerned about the safety of Chen’s associates and family remaining in China.
We find especially disturbing the role of health care professionals and physicians in the performance of forced abortions. Forced abortions cannot take place without the collusion of physicians. Coerced abortion is in violation of accepted principles in international law such as the Nuremberg code and Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Hippocratic Oath holds that it is the duty of the physician to act for the benefit of the patient, not the state or any other entity. Although the involved physicians themselves may themselves have been coerced, we deplore the involvement of medical personnel in these human rights violations. We support Chinese medical personnel who resist violating the rights of their patients and who seek to reform their medical system.