Abduction and abortion: dark side of China’s one-child policy
By Kim Eun-ji
Chinese officials have forced an abortion on a 23-year-old Chinese woman, who could not pay 40,000 yuan (about 7.3 million won) fine for violating China’s one-child policy, reports said.
Feng Jianmei had been pregnant for more than seven months when five government officials abducted her for a forced abortion in Shaanxi Province, northern China, June 2, while her husband was away at work.
She was “beaten, blindfolded … and forced to sign a document that she couldn’t read with the blindfold still on her eyes,” reported NBC News. Then Feng was injected with toxins that were lethal to her baby daughter.
“I could feel the baby jumping around inside me all the time, but then she went still,” said Feng, who gave birth to her stillborn daughter without any anesthesia, June 4. “It was much more painful than my first childbirth. … The baby was lifeless, and she was all purple and blue.”
The local government had been harassing Feng and Feng’s husband, Deng Jiyuan, 29, after he Deng said he would speak about the incident in Beijing. The treatment worsened when German newsmagazine, Stern, interviewed Deng’s family.
“We are human beings, not animals,” said Deng’s sister, Deng Jicai, during the interview. “Officials from the local government have no right to castrate us like animals.”
After the interview, Deng Jiyuan was beaten by unknown agents, and people protested calling Deng’s family “traitors” for talking with the foreign press. The protesters, which local media assumes were sent by the local government, held red banners that read “strike down traitors soundly, kick them out of [the town].”
Deng Jiyuan went missing after he walked out with an official who wanted to “have a talk,” Deng Jicai told the South China Morning Post. The family was unable to contact him since June 24.
Feng is also practically imprisoned in the hospital where windows are covered in wooden planks and officials in plainclothes are guarding her, said Deng Jicai.
The picture of Feng lying next to the dead fetus at the hospital instantly brought an international and national uproar when it went online.
“This is what they say the Japanese and Nazis did. But it’s happening in reality and it is by no means the only case… [The officials] should be executed,” a Chinese netizen wrote on netease.com.
The incident shows how the One-Child Policy violates women’s rights every day, said Chai Ling, the founding president of All Girls Allowed, a religious women’s rights organization.
“[The family planning officials in Feng’s region] received a lower grade from the government because of ‘over-quota’ births, and Feng’s story shows us how they plan to respond,” said Chai. “Unfortunately her family was the first to receive the opening of the knife.”
China decided to remove the director of the county’s family planning bureau and the chief of township government, June 26. The family, however, are unhappy with the decision.
“Only one official or two will be removed from the position. [Others will get serious warnings, but] it only means they will not get a salary rise or promotion in the next 18 months,” said Zhang Kai, the family’s lawyer. “No one is taking criminal responsibility. It does not make sense in terms of the law.”