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One-Child Policy Forces Abortions In China

Xiamen, China: Family Planning officials decided Xiao Ai Ying, eight months into her pregnancy, had violated China’s one-child policy and forced her to have an abortion


Luo Yan Qua/Xiao Ai Ying

Luo Yan Qua and Xiao Ai Ying

The one-child policy in China leads to an estimated 13 million known abortions annually, and many of these are performed on orders given by family planning officials

Reporting for Al Jazeera, Melissa Chan writes that the parents involved in this illegal pregnancy that led to a legal abortion of an eight-month-old fetus do not know how the story of their misfortune made it to the Internet. She says:

Luo Yan Qua and Xiao Ai Ying do not know how their story got posted on the internet. They were too distraught and shocked to have even considered reaching out to media as an option. There is the possibility that someone in the government, aware of their situation and sympathetic, quietly released information about them on a popular Chinese website which works in the same way Twitter does.

While her assumption that the leak came from someone in the government is unsubstantiated, the possibility exists because, as the blog Public Vigil tells us:

Forced abortions sometimes happen in remote areas of China, but this one occurred in one of the country’s most modern cities. They are not condoned by the central government.

The couple already have a daughter and this second pregnancy was accidental, but when it was confirmed three months in, husband and wife both felt it was too late to have an abortion and assumed the most that could happen to them was a heavy fine. Once her illegal pregnancy was detected, the pregnant mother was dragged, kicking and screaming, out of her own home by family planning authorities who were accompanied by police officers. In an interview, the husband and father also says that police kicked his wife in the stomach, possibly to induce a miscarriage. Next, they took her to a hospital in the city of Xiamen, where her soon-to-be-born child was killed by a lethal injection while still in her body.

In China, the birth of a second child is illegal, a crime for which mothers often have to pay a fine, starting with $1 for the very poor yet sometimes up to $40,000. Some women may also be subsequently sterilised. It is not known at this point whether or not Xiao Ai Ying will have other punishments than the macabre one of having her baby killed inside her own womb. To others, in and outside of China, it is not the mother who is thought to have committed a crime.

Posted below is footage of Al Jazeera’s interview with husband, Luo Yan Qua, recounting the events. His wife Xiao Ai Ying was in the hospital. They had given her womb an injection, and she was waiting for the operation in which doctors would remove the dead fetus…

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Posted by on Oct 22 2010. Filed under Marriage & Family. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “One-Child Policy Forces Abortions In China”

  1. Editor

    If China wants to be respected in the global sphere it needs to do away with some of its abominable laws including its policy of one child per family. I understand the threat of overpopulation with regard to diminishing world resources, but forcing a woman to have an abortion against her will at 8 months pregnant is unconscionable.

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