Vice President Joe Biden is perhaps as well known for making repeated gaffes as he is for being vice president. Biden’s latest cringe-worthy statement came during a recent visit to China, where he stated he “fully understands” and is “not second-guessing” the forced abortion practices associated with the country’s “one-child” policy. In fact, at no time during Biden’s speech did he condemn the mass sterilizations or other human rights abuses women in China allegedly endure for violating the one-child policy.
“But as I was talking to some of your leaders, you share a similar concern here in China. You have no safety net. Your policy has been one which I fully understand — I’m not second-guessing — of one child per family. The result being that you’re in a position where one wage earner will be taking care of four retired people. Not sustainable. So hopefully we can act in a way on a problem that’s much less severe than yours, and maybe we can learn together from how we can do that.”
Now, however, Biden’s spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff told The Daily Caller in an email that Biden and the Obama administration condemn China’s one-child policy, stating:
“The Obama Administration strongly opposes all aspects of China’s coercive birth limitation policies, including forced abortion and sterilization,” Barkoff told the conservative news outlet. “The Vice President believes such practices are repugnant.”
Barkoff maintained that Biden was attempting to critique China’s policy during his speech.
“He also pointed out, in China, that the policy is, as a practical matter, unsustainable,” Barkoff added. “He was arguing against the One Child Policy to a Chinese audience. ”
Meanwhile, Lifenews reports that many in the pro-life community, including presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney and Rick Perry were quick to condemn Biden’s seemingly callous statement:
Mitt Romney, the first Republican to have addressed the statement, said: “China’s one-child policy is gruesome and barbaric. Vice President Biden’s acquiescence to such a policy should shock the conscience of every American. Instead of condoning the policy, Vice President Biden should have condemned it in the strongest possible terms. There can be no defense of a government that engages in compulsory sterilization and forced abortions in the name of population control.”
Later Tuesday, GOP candidate Rick Perry released a statement condemning Biden’s comments, and the forced abortion policy.
“China’s one child policy has led to the great human tragedy of forced abortions throughout China, and Vice President Biden’s refusal to ‘second-guess’ this horrendous policy demonstrates great moral indifference on the part of the Obama Administration. Americans value life, and we deserve leaders who will stand up against such inhumanity, not cast a blind eye,” he said.
Lifenews adds that the one-child policy, instituted by China’s Communist government in the late 1970s to curb rising population, limits couples in urban areas to having just one child and couples in rural areas to two children. If the first child is a girl, however, it was not unusual for parents to practice sex-selective infanticide to ensure their one child would be a “preferable” male.
Did Biden’s spokeswoman convince you that the vice president sought to condemn China’s one-child policy? Weigh in with your thoughts.