Chinese authorities shut down nursery run by monk who saves babies from abortion
17 August 2017
Master Daolu with several babies he saved from being aborted, his nurses and a boy that was abandoned at door of Wanshan Temple in 2015. Photo: Courtesy of Master Daolu
Buddhist monk Master Daolu's villa - which he converted into a shelter for mothers and children - has been sealed up by local authorities.
The Chinese news outlet Global Times is reporting that a monk who saves babies from abortion and then brings them up has come into conflict with authorities.
Master Daolu, a former businessman turned monk, believes, like many Buddhists, that the baby has a soul fm conception, and that abortion is murder. However, he doesn't just persuade women not to have abortions - he provides shelter and care for them and their babies.
According to an earlier Global Times article, when he began his ministry, Master Daolu converted his own villa in Nantong, in East China's Jiangsu Province into a foster home, hiring nannies and recruiting volunteers to care for abandoned babies. He offers women in crisis pregnancies - most of them in their twenties and unmarried -money, shelter, healthcare and help to raise their children. He promises to take care of the children until adulthood, and, he explains, mothers "chose me instead of a public foster home, as they could return to see their children or take away them at any time."
Public foster homes only receive orphans and the mothers don't know of their babies' whereabouts after they are adopted, he says.
This brave monk has already faced huge difficulties in obtaining hukou, or household registration, for the children, which is needed to access public education and healthcare. Now it is reported that the local government in Rugao, a county-level city under Nantong's jurisdiction, has shut down his foster home, and forced him to sign an agreement that all the women leave and take their children with them. He is also ordered to cease all further rescue work of women and children in Rugao.
Daolu hasn't disbanded the women and children as he promised in the letter, instead arranging for them to live in apartments rented by himself, or the homes of lay Buddhists.
He said that there are currently more than 20 women waiting to give birth and 23 children up to five years of age under his care. He has no plans to stop his rescue efforts, and has vowed to keep fighting to get legal recognition for the children.
Incomprehensible number of lives lost
This is a somewhat surprising article to find in the Global Times, whose editorial stance is strongly pro-government. Even more surprisingly, it admits the enormous scale of abortion in China - 23 million abortions a year, including 10 million that are performed in private clinics or via medication (which the Chinese government repeatedly ignored). However, it makes no mention that many are the direct result of China's coercive population control policy, and forced abortion is rife.
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