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WHAT IS A “FORCED ABORTION”?

A “forced abortion” occurs when a woman wants to carry her pregnancy to term, but is required to terminate it against her will. “Violators of the [one-child] policy are routinely punished with exorbitant fines, and in some cases, subjected to forced sterilization, forced abortion, arbitrary detention, and torture.”


The term “forced abortion” is best defined through example.   


On October 5 of 2008, an article appeared in the South China Morning Post about a young woman, Jin Yani, who was drifting off to sleep one night when the family planning police smashed the lock to her front door and dragged her out of her house in her nightclothes, screaming and terrified.  Her crime: getting pregnant without a birth permit.  Her punishment: forced abortion, even though she was nine months pregnant, and this was her first child.  Jin Yani knelt on the floor of the family planning center and begged the police to let her keep her baby.  They dragged her crying and screaming, and five people held her down on the hospital bed as they ripped off her clothes and injected saline solution with a long needle through her womb and into the full-term fetus to terminate it.  The dead baby was extracted on September 9, 2000. When her husband, Yang, returned from his business trip, he rushed to the hospital to find Jin Yani purple and near death from blood loss.   She spent 44 days in the hospital because of severe hemorrhaging. Now, she is infertile.   


Such brutality, unfortunately, is not uncommon in present-day China. Here are a couple of examples from the U.S. Department of State China Report, just released on February 25, 2009:  “In March [2008] family planning officials in Henan Province reportedly forcibly detained a 23-year-old unmarried woman who was seven months pregnant.  Officials reportedly tied her to a bed, induced labor, and killed the newborn upon delivery.  In April [2008] population-planning officials in Shandong provinces reportedly detained and beat the sister of a woman who had illegally conceived a second child in an attempt to compel the woman to undergo an abortion.”   


Then, on April 30, 2009, Reuters reported that three surrogate mothers were discovered in Guangzhou.  Being a surrogate mother is illegal in China.  The three pregnant women were escorted under guard to the hospital and forcibly aborted.