Officials on Tuesday also confirmed what an ABCNEWS 20/20 investigation had found–that pregnant garment workers on Saipan are forced to have abortions to keep their jobs.
“When I told them I was pregnant, they told me to have an abortion,” said Tu Xiao Mei, a woman who lost her job after refusing an abortion.
“With 11,000 Chinese workers here, I have never seen a Chinese garment factory worker have a baby,” said human rights worker Eric Gregoire.
Saipan, by the way, is an American territory. We own it. But a loophole in the law gives Saipan the right to set its own labor laws. The result is a system that’s hard to distinguish from slavery.
Most of the workers are “young women from China who have been promised by recruiters that they are going to good jobs in America,” Ross reported.
“Instead many find themselves kept behind barbed wire, in rat-infested labor camps, and put to work in huge Chinese- and Korean-owned garment factories–often under sweatshop conditions–making clothes for the American market,” he said.
The clothes can legally be labeled “Made in the USA.”
Okay, so let’s consider Tom DeLay. This is a man who can’t stand the idea of “Plan B,” because he thinks it’s abortion. So why does he passionately defend a system in which pregnant women are forced to get abortions against their wills?
Saipan has spent millions on Washington lobbyists and given top Republicans in Congress free trips to the beautiful Pacific island, including one over Christmas for House Majority Whip Tom DeLay.
“You represent everything that is good about what we’re trying to do in America,” he told outgoing Governor Froilan Tenorio, a distant cousin of the current governor, at a dinner in Saipan this past New Year’s eve.
DeLay and other Republicans have vowed to fight to keep the laws the way they are on Saipan.
As far as I – and I suspect all pro-choicers – are concerned, it’s cause for horror for any woman, anywhere, to have reproductive decisions forced on her. That’s true regardless of if it’s a woman being forced to give childbirth because her government has banned abortion, or a woman being forced to abort because she’s been tricked into a job in a US territory with no labor rights.
Do pro-lifers see anything wrong with this situation? I’m sure the pro-lifers who occasionally post on “Alas” (hi, Glaivester! hi, Robert! hi, Emily!) will find it objectionable. Maybe they’ll even send an outraged letter to DeLay’s office.
But will the pro-life leadership care at all? Will the pro-life leadership organize to pressure “pro-life” Republicans to take a stand against forced abortions in a US territory? I’m not holding my breath. They’ve pushed policies that increase abortion in the past, and I’m sure they’ll keep doing so in the future. If they can be judged by their actions, it seems that pro-life leaders are actually comfortable with increased and forced abortions, so long as it’s happening to women who aren’t from the first world.