Chinese officials suspended after forcing an abortion on woman 7 months pregnant


CHINA — Chinese officials who forcibly aborted the unborn child of a woman who was seven months pregnant and have threatened to end the life of a baby who is at five months' gestation, have been suspended.

The Chinese government apologized to Feng Jianmei, 23, who was beaten and forced to abort her 7 month old unborn baby.

The abortion had sparked an uproar in China after graphic photos of the mother and her dead baby went viral on the internet. 

The photos showed the Jianmei on a hospital bed with aborted baby's bloodied body lying next to her. The baby was reportedly aborted with a chemical injection.

The authorities acted on the basis of China's coercive population control program, which is commonly referred to as the one-child policy. In the incidents:

• On June 3, family planning officials in Shanxi province beat and forced into an automobile Feng Jianmei, who was seven months pregnant, while her husband, Deng Jiyuan, was at work. The authorities levied a fine, and when Feng's family did not pay, they performed an abortion on her and placed the body of her dead child in bed with her. She is receiving medical treatment. Women's Rights Without Frontiers (WRWF) provided the information based on a report by 64Tianwang, a China-based human rights organization.

• On June 6, family planning officials in Hunan province broke into the home of Cao Ruyi, who was five months pregnant, and took her to a hospital, threatening her with a forced abortion. Cao and her husband, Li Fu, already have a 5-year-old daughter. After refusing a "voluntary" abortion, she was released during the weekend of June 9-10 after payment of a "social compensation fee" of the equivalent of $1,500. Authorities still are requiring payment of a $25,000 fine for Cao to proceed with the pregnancy. China Aid Association and WRWF reported on the incident.

"WRWF calls on the United States government and the leaders of the free world to strongly condemn forced abortion and all coercive family planning in China," WRWF President Reggie Littlejohn said in a written statement.

China's population control program, which was instituted more than three decades ago in the world's most populous country, generally limits couples in urban areas to one child and those in rural areas to two, if the first is a girl. Parents in cities may have second babies if the husband and wife are both only children.

The policy has resulted in many reports of forced abortions and sterilizations, as well as infanticide. It also has produced a gender imbalance because of the Chinese preference for sons.

— BP and Christian Examiner staff report