Chinese outraged over another forced late-term abortion

China | Angela Lu

Chinese outraged over another forced late-term abortion

A baby is carried with a traditional baby carrier at a park in Chongqing, China.
Associated Press/Photo by Eugene Hoshiko

Another photo of a baby forcibly aborted at seven months by Chinese officials went viral last weekend, stirring anger in the Chinese community online.

“What had this baby done wrong, to be tortured to death in such an unimaginable way?” commented @98zhongjilongquishi about the graphic photo of the bloody child.

The baby belongs to a 33-year-old mother in the Anhui province with the surname Lü, who was illegally pregnant with an over-quota baby under the one child policy. An informant tipped off family planning officials about the pregnancy, and on March 22, the officials dragged the mother to a local hospital where she was injected with abortion-inducing drugs. On March 24 she gave birth to a dead baby boy. 

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“I think that if we went over the birth quota, authorities should deal with us, the adults,”  Lü’s husband told New Tang Dynasty New, a New York-based news program. “The child is innocent and now they’ve ended it’s life.”

Lü’s husband released the photo and reported the incident, which drew ire from many Chinese already upset about the one-child policy. In this case, the officials also disregarded a late-term abortion ban set in place last summer after another viral photo of Feng Jianmei and her aborted 7-month-old baby started an uproar.

Lü’s husband told ChinaAid the government has “stepped in to mediate the matter, and they are discussing it now,” however it is not yet clear what will be done.  

Part of the draw to keep the one-child policy in place is the amount of money the government collects from enforcing it. Expensive fines for over-quota children total up to $4.4 billion a year, according to official data.

For the rich and powerful in the country, the $3,000 to $5,000 fine for extra children is nothing to them, so they have no qualms with the policy. Ordinary citizens feel the brunt of the rule, as informants are paid to rat out neighbors who are illegally pregnant. Women caught violating the policy are forced to have abortions and sterilization procedures.

In a separate case this month, 42-year-old Yang Yuzhi of Henan committed suicide inside a Family Planning Office after two botched forced sterilizations. The mother of four suffered infections and pain from the failed surgery and was petitioning the Family Planning Commission to help pay for her medical care. Officials told her family she had hanged herself at the top of the stairs, but they found her body covered with scars, beaten black and blue.

Public opinion toward the policy is quickly deteriorating as stories of brutal family planning officials and the tragedy of forced abortions–especially late-term abortions–continue to surface. One Guangzhou doctor told Radio Free Asia that what happened to Lü’s baby is essentially murder.

“In China, any baby that hasn’t yet been born isn’t counted as life,” Hu Tao said. “But from an ethical point of view, if the baby has already formed, it doesn’t matter how old it is; it is a human life … To abort it when it has already developed is tantamount to murder.”

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