The image circulating online of a Chinese woman lying next to her dead child, reportedly killed after a forced abortion at seven months, has renewed international outrage over the atrocities of China’s one-child policy.

The over three-decades-old policy that severely restricts the number of children allowed per couple in China continues to wreak havoc on Chinese people’s hopes for basic freedoms and endangers the future stability of their society. Often enforced through forced abortions and aided by involuntary sterilizations, intimidation tactics, and assault of family members and neighbors of non-compliant women, the one-child policy daily strips the Chinese people of their dignity and rights.

The one-child policy, combined with a cultural preference for boys, is not without serious consequences. In addition to tipping the country’s demography toward a dangerous and unsustainable gender imbalance (some Chinese provinces report an unprecedented male-to-female birth ratio of 130 to 100), the paucity of Chinese girls is already linked to child abduction and bride trafficking.

Moreover, as Heritage has previously explained, “Increased crime, substance abuse, violence against women, and gang activity, researchers predict, will likely mar China’s future as millions of young Chinese men are demographically prohibited from settling down into the socializing institution of marriage.”

The picture of two victims of China’s one-child policy is made all the more poignant because its circulation coincided with the 25th anniversary of former President Ronald Reagan’s famous Brandenburg Gate speech on June 12. As Americans remembered the incredible loss of life caused by communist regimes in the 20th century, this image should remind people that mass murder of innocents and devaluation of individual liberty are still threatened by oppressive governments.

Although modern abortive technology and global endorsement of population control may have allowed state-sanctioned murder to slip out of Tiananmen Square and into China’s hospitals and family planning centers, the same corrupt, communist power that killed millions in the last century continues to slaughter innocent lives.

As Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers and forced-abortion opponent, stated at the Victims of Communism Memorial earlier this week:

The Chinese Communist Party wields forced abortion as an instrument of terror to keep its people down. The infrastructure of population control coercion can be turned in any direction, to crush dissent.… The true spirit of Communism is most clearly seen in the faces of the Chinese population control police as they drag women away, beat them, strap them down to tables, and force them to abort babies that they want, up to the ninth month of pregnancy.

The policy implications of China’s refusal to protect even the most basic human rights are clear. As Heritage’s Jennifer Marshall recently explained:

U.S. policymakers have long expressed concern over China’s security and economic challenges to global stability. They ought to be equally concerned about the chilling long-term consequences of gross abuse of human dignity and the destruction of civil society. It’s time for China to end the barbarism of its One-Child Policy.

The world shouldn’t need any more images of China’s victims to understand the seriousness of that charge.