Feng Jianmei and her aborted baby.
Images circulating on microblog platforms of a forced abortion inflicted upon a woman seven months into her pregnancy in Ankang, Shaanxi province have left netizens outraged at the methods employed by local family planning officials.
From a report by Radio Free Asia:
Speaking from a local hospital in her home county of Zhenping, Feng Jianmei said she had been forced to have the procedure by local family planning bureau officials after she failed to pay a 40,000 yuan fine for an “excess birth” under China’s draconian population control policies.
Feng, speaking briefly from her hospital bed, said that she hadn’t consented to the procedure.
“I have just given an interview with a reporter. My head really hurts…No, it wasn’t [with my consent.] It was forced. That’s what happened.”
Feng’s husband Deng Jiyuan said his wife was taken away on June 2 by officials from the local family planning bureau and given an injection at the Zhenping county hospital without her consent. Two days later, she lost the baby.
A photograph taken at the time and later posted on the Tianwang rights website’s discussion forum showed Feng lying in a hospital bed with her dead baby beside her.
“They gave her the injection on June 2, and the child was stillborn at 3:00 a.m. on the morning of June 4,” Deng said. “They gave the injection directly into the child’s head.”
“She didn’t agree to this…They grabbed her hand and forced her to sign,” he said.
Deng said he and Feng had agreed to pay a fine of 40,000 yuan levied by officials as a fine for the unapproved birth, but that they had forced her abortion anyway.
The Global Times weighs in, arguing “Forced late-term abortions must not be tolerated”:
With the development of society, expectations of the family planning policy as well as Chinese people’s awareness of human rights are changing. Local governments should have a broader horizon and not cross various bottom lines when carrying out their work. China has made achievements in protecting human rights; many humanitarian ideas have been introduced into China through globalization and the Internet. Much pressure has been put on grass-roots governments and forced improvements in social governance.
Local governments should turn this pressure into a driving force and realize improvements in their working style. Take the Ankang case as an example. What the officials have done goes against policy, no matter what their reasons are, and has stirred public opinion and damaged the image of the family planning policy.
Some hold that the family planning policy can only be implemented through tough measures. This kind of thinking is unacceptable today. Society has undergone tremendous changes in the last three decades. The desire for more children is decreasing. Cases of late-term pregnancy cannot be terminated through force. This is a requirement of the social moral standards of today.
Also read this account by Tania Branigan of The Guardian of another forced late-term abortion in Shandong province in Oct 2011 which resulted in the death of the mother.
Watch: Chai Ling calls on Jesus to end forced abortions in China