Christian Coalition founder, Pat Robertson, turned the heads of the religious right and others last week when he defended China’s one-child policy during an interview on CNN’s “Wolf Blitzer Reports.”
The controversy arose when Blitzer asked Robertson about the policy that can result in state-ordered abortions, according to a Washington Post article.
“I don’t agree with it. But at the same time, they’ve got 1.2 billion people, and they don’t know what to do,” Robertson told Blitzer during the interview. “If every family over there was allowed to have three or four children, the population would be completely unsustainable … I think that right now they are doing what they have to do.”
Robertson also told Blitzer he did not believe the United States should interfere with China on this matter.
Since the highly publicized interview, Robertson has made efforts to retract his statements, saying he is “unalterably opposed to the policy which would result in forced abortions or sex selection,” but many on the Christian right don’t think it is enough.
“It’s a clarification that doesn’t clarify,” Charles A. Donovan, executive vice president for the Family Research Council, told the Post. “I’m saddened and surprised. This policy [of forced abortion] doesn’t need comfort, and it certainly doesn’t need comfort from a Christian and a conservative.”
Former head of the Christian Coalition’s Washington office, Marshall Wittmann, told the Post he was pessimistic about the future of the Coalition.
“The Christian Coalition was already on life-support,” Wittmann said in the article. “Robertson’s remarks probably mean its demise.”
Robertson’s comments did not please those on the left either.
Kate Michelman, president of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, said the interview revealed the cynical side of Robertson’s views.
“The only thing [Robertson] is consistent about is his opposition to the right of women to choose,” Michelman told the Post.
Concerned Women for America released a statement directed toward Robertson, saying it was appalled at claims about China’s abortion policy being the logical result of its growing population.
“Babies are not the cause of China’s problems,” the statement read. “Communism is … It would be a dereliction of our duty as Christians and as human beings to ignore the human rights abuses in China’s forced-abortion policy.”
Moral of the story: Watch what you say, especially if millions of people are listening.
Jodi Mathews is BCE’s communications director.