Daily Mail: A Chinese woman has revealed she was dragged from her home in the middle of the night and forced to have an abortion, three months before her child was due to be born.
Liu Xinwen, 33, and her husband Zhou Guoqiang were left devastated after the mother-of-one was pulled from her bed and taken to hospital to be injected with an abortion-inducing drug.
The forced abortion is due to China’s strict one-baby policy, introduced in 1979 to keep the country’s population under control – the couple already have a son.
The coupleclaim that they were awoken at 4am last week after their door was kicked down and two dozen officials from the Shandong Province Family Planning Commission forced their way into their home.
Mr. Zhou told Sky News how he was held down on the sofa while his terrified wife was taken away to the hospital. He then spent a desperate five hours trying to find out where Liu Xinwen had been taken as officials refused to tell him.
When he eventually found his wife at the People’s Hospital of Fangzi District in Weifang City, he arrived just minutes after the injection had been administered. ‘My wife was lying in bed. I asked her: ‘Have you been injected?’ She said ‘yes’. I asked if the baby was still moving.’ She said ‘not much,’ he told Sky News. ‘After that, I didn’t want my wife to see my crying. I went outside.’
The baby died in her womb and was delivered a day later – a horrific photo shows the foetus in an orange bucket next to Liu Xinwen curled up on the hospital bed. It was then the couple discovered they had been due to have a little boy, a younger brother for their son Zhou Junfeng, 10. A sobbing Liu Xinwen told of her grief at aborting her baby saying, ‘I miss him.’
‘I didn’t get to see him. I would be even more upset if I had seen him,’ she said.
Mr. Zhou claims his wife was forced to sign papers which said she had agreed to the abortion. He said that when she refused she was told if she did not co-operate her husband would be arrested and she would be left with nothing.
She told Sky News that after her son was born she had a contraceptive coil inserted, a procedure proscribed by China. She said it must have failed and she discovered she was expecting a second child when she was four months into the pregnancy.
The couple decided against informing the authorities as they feared a forced abortion and instead hoped to pay a fine after the birth – this is sometimes acceptable in parts of China.
It is not clear how authorities found out Liu Xinwen was pregnant. The Chinese Embassy in London told Sky News they were looking into the case.
In July a man stabbed to death two government workers in China after they told him they couldn’t register his fourth child. They had told the man they were unable to record the birth because he had not paid a fine for breaching China’s family planning laws.
The official Xinhua News Agency, said staff at the Dongxing City Family Planning Bureau – which comes under Fangchenggang city – had refused to register the man’s fourth child for a hukou, or resident’s certificate, because he hadn’t paid a social compensation fee. The fine is levied on parents who break family planning laws and can be up to 10 times a family’s annual income. A child without a hukou faces problems registering for education, health care and government benefits.
Known to many as the one-child policy, China’s actual rules are complicated. The government limits most urban couples to one child, and allows two children for rural families if their firstborn is a girl. Numerous other exceptions include looser rules for minority families and a two-child limit for parents who are themselves both singletons.
Though the government credits the policy with preventing hundreds of millions of births and helping lift countless families out of poverty, it is reviled by many ordinary people. The strict limits have led to forced abortions and sterilizations, even though such measures are illegal. Couples who flout the rules face hefty fines, seizure of their property and loss of their jobs.
Many demographers argue that the policy has worsened the country’s aging crisis by limiting the size of the young labor pool that must support the large baby boom generation as it retires. They say it has contributed to the imbalanced sex ratio by encouraging families to abort baby girls, preferring to try for a male heir.