Chinese woman forced to abort 8-month-old foetus

Last Updated: Thursday, October 21, 2010 - 21:27

Beijing: A pregnant woman in south China
was detained, beaten and forced to have an abortion just a
month before her due date because the baby would have violated
the country`s one-child limit, her husband said on Thursday.

Construction worker Luo Yanquan said his wife was
taken kicking and screaming from their home by more than a
dozen people on Oct. 10 and detained in a clinic for three
days by family planning officials, then taken to a hospital
and injected with a drug that killed her baby.

Family planning officials told the couple they weren`t
allowed to have the child because they already have a
9-year-old daughter, Luo said.

For the last 30 years, China has limited most urban
couples to just one child in a bid to curb population growth
and conserve its limited resources. China has the world`s
largest population, with more than 1.3 billion people. Couples
that flout the rules face hefty fines, seizure of their
property and loss of their jobs.

The case is an extreme example of the coercive
measures Chinese officials sometimes use to comply with the
strict family planning regulations. Though illegal, police and
judicial authorities often look the other way when forced
abortion cases are reported and the heavily censored state
media shy away from such news.

But in recent years, victims have begun to speak out
about their ordeals with the help of the Internet and text
messaging. Aiding them are social campaigners and lawyers who
have documented cases of forced late-term abortions. Similar
abuses have been reported in Hebei and Shandong provinces and
in the Guangxi region.

An official with the Siming district family planning
commission, which oversees Luo`s neighbourhood, confirmed
there was a record of Luo`s wife, Xiao Aiying, undergoing an
abortion recently but said the procedure was voluntary and
that she was about six months instead of eight months pregnant
at the time. Like many Chinese bureaucrats, he refused to give
his name.

China bans forced abortions, but doesn`t prohibit or
clearly define late-term abortion.

The Siming official said Xiao`s husband had approved
the abortion, a claim Luo denied.

"I never signed anything. No one in our family did,"
he said by telephone from Xiamen. "I called the police but
they said family planning issues weren`t their
responsibility. I want to sue, but lawyers I`ve asked here say
they can`t help me and the media won`t report on our case."

Luo set up a blog last week to let people know what
had happened to his wife, and satellite broadcaster Al-Jazeera
posted a report about the couple`s case on its website
yesterday.

Ordinary Chinese reacted with anger and disgust to
Luo`s on line account, posting comments that called the family
planning officials cruel and inhuman.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, October 21, 2010 - 21:27

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