The Case of Liu Dan
Woman Dies of Forced Abortion at Nine Months
When: February 28, 2009
Where: Jingang Town, Liuyang City, Hunan Province
The 21 year-old pregnant girl Liu Dan (who didn’t get married because she wasn’t of legal marriagable age yet) may have never imagined that she and the child in her womb would die for her pregnancy.
Liu Dan and her fiancé Song Qingshan were classmates in Jinshen Middle School in Jingang Town. They didn’t pursue further education but went to work because of poverty in 2005. Liu Dan went to work in a firecracker factory. Liu Dan’s hard work and brightness made very good impression on Song Qingshan. And Song Qingshan favorably impressed Liu Dan. So they began dating in 2006. Liu Dan was pregnant in 2009, but they could not get married because Liu Dan hadn’t reached the legal marriage age. She moved to Song Qingshan’s house to stay with his family. Their parents performed an engagement for them in November 17th of Chinese Traditional Calendar. A PFPO worker named Zhu Xiying often went to Song Qingshan’s house to play cards. He knew that Liu Dan was pregnant but never mentioned it.
In the evening of February 26th 2009, two vans suddenly stopped before Song Huaijin’s house. A couple of people from the vans ran into Liu Dan’s room and kidnapped her before Song’s family could do anything. The vans headed towards the PFPC in Liuyang City. Liu Dan got an injection for induced abortion soon after, despite her cries. Later she was kept in a population and family planning station. Song’s family and Liu Dan’s mother arrived that night in the PFPC station.
In the afternoon of the second day, Liu Dan began to have signs of child delivery: her private parts began bleeding. When Liu Dan’s family members requested to send her to hospital, the Jingang Town PFPC workers immediately denied it. They said it was normal, and they would do the induced labor for Liu Dan. But sometime before this, Dayao Hospital had already examined Liu Dan and the examination results showed that Liu Dan’s due date was March 5th and abortion could be dangerous for her because of her high blood pressure and unclear amniotic fluid. Liu Dan herself strongly refused to sign for the induced labor; neither did her and Song Qingshan’s families. But the Jingang Town PFPO chief Qi Zhiqiang proclaimed that he could sign on behalf of Jingang Town Government and he would be fully responsible if an accident happened. So Liu Dan was forcibly sent to the PFPO’s operation room. Around midnight the dead fetus was born and no one knew the fetus’ sex because none of Liu Dan’s family members was allowed to enter the room.
At 3:00 a.m. Liu Dan became even weaker and bled. She bled much when doctors pushed on her belly. Sensing something was going wrong inside, Song Qingshan broke into the room and found Liu Dan was bleeding from nose, eyes, ears and mouth…… the PFPO didn’t even make emergency call until Liu Dan’s family strongly requested. As the doctors from Liuyang City hospital arrived, they immediately found that Liu Dan was in great danger and she could not afford to move to the hospital. So they gave emergency medical treatment in the room. Also they called for other equipment and doctors as a backup. But everything was too late. At about 6:00 a.m., Liu Dan shut her eyes forever after three hours of rescue efforts.
Liu Dan’s brother rushed back home from Beijing on hearing this. Since he was studying in the big city and knew more than his family members, he first tried to expose this to media. But all the newspapers hung up the phone on hearing it was about the Population and Family Planning Policy. However, some kind-hearted journalist gave this information to me as well.
The time I heard about this was the evening of March 3rd. On the next morning I drove to Liuyang City. To avoid conflict with the local government, I parked my news car in Dayao Town which was about 6 miles away from Jingang Town. Then I took a car to Liu Dan’s home -- Shihui Village. At that moment Liu Dan’s funeral was going on. On seeing a reporter coming, Liu Dan’s mother cried out loud and knelt down before me. She held my hands tightly and strongly asked for justice -- her young daughter could not die in vain! The official who signed for the induced labor had to pay for it! Crying could be heard all over the place. Liu Dan’s father was crying holding his daughter’s picture. The young had died before the old. Also Liu Dan’s classmates were full of tears. They said: “Liu Dan was a good girl. She liked to smile and everybody loved her.” There were several old ladies and maybe because they were a little deaf or couldn’t understand Mandarin, they said nothing but wept.
Later I went to Jingang Town Government with Song Qingshan’s father. In order to avoid unnecessary trouble, I proclaimed that I was a customer of Song’s father’s firecrackers. Entering the PFPO we found that all the PFPO workers who took Liu Dan to the forcible abortion were gone, and so was the PFPO staff picture. The mayor of the town tried to persuade Song Qingshan’s mother not to pursue this accident anymore. And they promised compensation. But Song’s mother said they just wanted justice and they didn’t fear death since Liu Dan already died. I took a picture of the remaining staff pictures on the wall secretly. When I was about to leave, my car was surrounded by some Municipal administration officials. They ordered the metal door shut to stop me from leaving. I was also questioned about my intention of being there. I said I was a customer of Song’s father and was finally released by the permission of their officers. I left the place as soon as I could.
P.S. From what I heard: After this incident, the mayor and secretary of Jinyang came to Liuyang City PFPO. They also wept with sympathy on seeing Liu Dan’s body. On the next day the mayor and secretary came to Liu Dan’s family and later they gave Liu Dan’s family about $46,000 from the government and the PFPO ($40,000 were from the PFPO). All the PFPO workers who had participated Liu Dan’s forcible abortion ran away after the incident, and no one came to apologize for what they did to Liu and Song’s families. Liu and Song’s families were basically satisfied with the local government’s compensation. But what they wanted to see most is that Qi Zhiqiang (who signed to authorize the forcibly induced labor) could be brought to justice. He is the one who directly caused Liu Dan and her child’s death.
The account of Liu Dan is Case 6 in the report submitted into the Congressional Record by Reggie Littlejohn, entitled
New Evidence Regarding China’s One-Child Policy --
Forced Abortion, Involuntary Sterilization, Infanticide and Coercive Family Planning