Green Room

China apologizes to woman who was forced to undergo late-term abortion

posted at 3:10 pm on June 16, 2012 by

And they, since they/Were not the one dead, turned to their affairs.

                                    —Robert Frost, “Out, Out—”

Officials in China have apologized to a woman who was forced to abort her fetus at seven months because she was in violation of that nation’s barbaric “one-child” policy.

After a shocking photograph of the woman, Feng Jianmei, lying next to the bloody corpse of her freshly aborted child went viral on the Internet, a wave of protest that began with anti-abortion groups in China rippled outward, eventually generating international outrage.

Besides an apology, Chinese officials have announced the suspension of three of the individuals responsible for forcibly restraining Feng and injecting her with an abortion-inducing chemical on June 2.

Local officials in Shannxi province, where the incident occurred, have also launched an investigation since Chinese law prohibits abortions beyond six months.

Feng’s nightmare began in late May, when local authorities who had learned of her pregnancy notified her that she was being assessed $6,200 in fines because she was already the mother of five-year-old daughter. When Feng responded that she was unable to pay because her mother-in-law needed all of the family’s available funds for cancer treatment, a team of 20 agents from the Orwellian-sounding “family planning department” showed up at her door. She was immediately placed under arrest and dragged kicking and screaming into a van headed for the hospital.

Once there, Feng told NBC, she was beaten, blindfolded, thrown on a bed, and forced to sign a document that she couldn’t read with the blindfold still on her eyes.

On June 4, Feng gave birth to a dead baby girl.

Initially, Chinese officials denied that Feng had been forced to abort. Li Yuongjou, deputy chief of Ankang’s family department, is quoted by the Daily Mail as saying, “A lot of us tried for days to educate her. She agreed to the abortion herself.”

But Feng strenuously denied this version of events, telling NBC, “No, I didn’t agree to do it. How can I agree to do that, as a mother?”

A report from Xinhua, China’s official government news agency, said that the Shaanxi Provincial Family Planning Committee has dispatched a team of investigators to Zengjiazhen. The report reads in part, “This has damaged the image of family planning work, and had an adverse effect on the society. The committee will resolutely prevent such things from happening again.”

The Daily Mail notes that Chai Ling of the U.S.-based activist group All Girls Allowed said Feng’s story demonstrates the extent to which China’s birth control policy sanctions violence against women.

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So what say you, Tom Friedman?

rbj on June 16, 2012 at 3:26 PM

And I’m sure we’ll see all the pro-choice groups in the US condemning this act of violence, right? /sarc

Mr. Prodigy on June 16, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Mr. Prodigy on June 16, 2012 at 3:56 PM

No, what we’ll likely see are the usual parade of nihilistic, narcissistic trolls on this site, regurgitating their death culture screeds.

CurtZHP on June 16, 2012 at 4:21 PM

Coming soon to America, as seen on TV. “If we could just be China for a day?”

ktrelski on June 16, 2012 at 5:20 PM

I question the intelligence and moral fortitude of people who require photographic evidence to be outraged.

mrsknightley on June 16, 2012 at 10:04 PM

But it’s all okay because China buys our debt and manufactures our products for cheap. So God forbid that we would ever do anything they might not like.

Shump on June 16, 2012 at 10:51 PM

Oh. They apologized to her. Well, that’ll bring the murdered child right back to life! Savages.

AndStatistics on June 16, 2012 at 11:00 PM

I don’t suppose they will use this as an opportunity to move away from the one-child national suicide policy, will they?

Count to 10 on June 17, 2012 at 12:35 PM

I don’t suppose they will use this as an opportunity to move away from the one-child national suicide policy, will they?

Count to 10 on June 17, 2012 at 12:35 PM

In your dreams.

If there was ever one single Communist policy that demonstrated how utterly cruel, injust, and unsustainable the entire system is…IMHO, it would be the Chinese one-child law.

MelonCollie on June 17, 2012 at 1:12 PM

I’m sure she feels all better now.

chotii on June 17, 2012 at 8:12 PM

I clicked on the link for the picture, and thankfully I got a 404 error. What happened was barbaric, but an apology from the Chinese government is huge.

Ward Cleaver on June 17, 2012 at 11:29 PM

I clicked on the link for the picture, and thankfully I got a 404 error.

The photo is here:

http://www.examiner.com/slideshow/graphic-image-alert-chinese-woman-forced-to-abort-at-7-months#slide=48720551

Howard Portnoy on June 18, 2012 at 10:07 AM

@Ward Cleaver – no, an apology from the Chinese government is meaningless. Go back and read the reason why:

“This has damaged the image of family planning work…”

This was damage control and nothing more. I’d bet there have been other times abortions have been “encouraged” past the six-month mark, but those never blew up in the government’s face like this time did.

mrsknightley on June 18, 2012 at 4:02 PM

wow, people can be so cruel and demented.

tomas on June 19, 2012 at 7:38 AM