“Hee Fang” lost her daughter and grandchild to a forced abortion at eight months under China’s One Child Policy
Hee Fang is seventy-nine years old. Her husband died thirty years ago from a brain tumor. He was a rural farmer, a very strong man, working hard all the time, and he rarely got sick. When doctors discovered the brain tumor, it was already too late. His last words to his wife were: don’t waste money on him, save it for herself and their son—and make sure to find a wife for the son. Hee Fang told our fieldworker that after her husband died, she went to his grave and cried for three months. She has never thought about remarrying anyone else, and she remembers every word her husband told her.
Together, Hee Fang and her husband had a son and a daughter. When the daughter was eight months pregnant, under the former One Child Policy, the Family Planning Police took her to the hospital for a forced abortion. Her daughter never returned. Apparently, her daughter must have died from the violence of a forced abortion at eight months. Hee Fang lost both her daughter and her grandchild to China’s brutal One Child Policy.
Hee Fang’s son is alive, and Hee Fang tried her best to fulfill her husband’s wish. She found him a wife, and now he has a family of his own. Even though her son knows his mother misses him, he rarely visits her. He just leaves her alone in her small old room.
Hee Fang said she is ready to go meet her husband in heaven. She sees no reason to live any longer. She lives in chronic pain, especially at night. She cannot remember how many times, in the middle of the night, she has asked her husband to take her away from this world.
In the midst of her desperation, our fieldworker appeared at her door, to offer Hee Fang encouragement, hope, and practical help — $25 a month for the rest of her life. Hee Fang told our fieldworker she can’t believe that Women’s Rights Without Frontiers helps poor widows like her. Most people look down on her. We do the opposite: we try to help her. Hee Fang cried when she said: “It must be God. Only God helps the helpless and makes the weak become strong.”