Beijing: A day after launching an investigation into an incident of forced abortion, China on Friday suspended three officials.
Feng Jianmei, 27, was forced to terminate her pregnancy at seven months in a hospital in Zhenping county on June 02 because her family could not afford a CNY 40,000 (USD 6,300) fine for having a second child. Authorities have now apologised to Feng.
Details of the case, including several photos showing the remains of the foetus lying next to the mother on her hospital bed, were posted at online forums. It shocked and angered many people nationwide.
Many netizens described the case as outrageous and tragic.
"It is brutal to end a new life that will soon come into the world. It breaks my heart to see such a thing," one of the netizens "Fen Hong Shan Hu Hai" wrote in a post on Sina`s Weibo.com, the country`s largest microblogging website.
The move appeared to be aimed at allaying public anger over a case that has triggered renewed criticism of China`s widely hated one-child limit. Designed to control the country`s exploding population, the policy has led to often violently imposed forced abortions and sterilizations as local authorities pursue birth quotas set by Beijing.
China legalised abortion in the 1950s, but it didn`t become common until the government began enforcing a one-child limit to stem population growth.
From fewer than five million abortions a year before 1979, the numbers jumped to 8.7 million in 1981, a year after the one-child policy was launched.
It peaked in 1983 at 14.4 million before coming down as China relaxed the policy to allow rural couples a second child if their first was a girl.
(With Agency inputs)