IN MY FIRST REPORT on the Chinese pro-life movement in 2014, I visited a hospital in Xining in western China that hosts the first pregnancy resource center established by Tang’s Good Neighbors Center.
Tang and Bai Suqing, the head of the Xining pregnancy center, attended this year’s Beijing conference along with other pro-life leaders and recruits. Conference attendees signed a declaration affirming that life starts at conception. They affirmed that Christians must oppose abortion and promote life by helping the mother, and affirmed that the church should be involved in adoption, an uncommon practice in China.
Around the lunch table, attendees from six different Chinese provinces swapped stories about their struggles and shared tips for helping mothers.
Bai is a fiery woman in her 60s. After working at the Xining pregnancy center for six years—first as a volunteer and then as its sole full-time staff member—she has numerous stories of successes and failures. In total, she says, she has saved 170 babies who otherwise would have been aborted—all by talking to mothers before they headed into the operating room for their abortions.
At first, Bai and other volunteers weren’t allowed even to meet with the pregnant women. Good Neighbors established the Xining pregnancy center inside the outpatient department of the Qinghai Red Cross Hospital because the director of the hospital was a Christian. Yet the non-Christian doctor given oversight of the center initially refused to let Bai meet with women until after they’d had their abortions. (Incidentally, abortion is a moneymaking procedure.) Bai still took advantage of the opportunity: She counseled women who regretted their decision, advised unmarried women to practice abstinence, and did her best to express love to them.
“Because God loved us, we must love others,” Bai said. “Many women I spoke to didn’t want to get an abortion done, but they didn’t think they had any other choice.”
Eventually, a more sympathetic doctor took charge of the center and allowed Bai to meet with pregnant women to tell them about the effects of abortion, show them fetal models, and discuss options besides abortion.
Once, a pregnant woman came to the hospital with heavy bleeding. After a checkup, a doctor informed her she had experienced a miscarriage and said medical staff needed to clean out the baby’s remains. Yet the woman felt convinced there was still life inside her. When Bai heard this, she snuck the woman away to her office and gave her an ultrasound. The woman was right: She had conceived twins and one had survived.
“If it weren’t for me, the doctor would have just gotten rid of the fetus,” said Bai, who believes God protected the baby.
Another time, Bai saw a woman sitting in the waiting room with tears running down her face. When Bai asked what was wrong, the woman explained she had no choice but to get an abortion: She’d become pregnant with her second child just seven months after delivering a baby through cesarean section. In China, doctors claim having a child within three years of a C-section is too risky for the mother. They advised her to abort.