China forced abortion case: Feng Jianmei to be compensated, officials punished


A woman pushes a baby boy riding in a pram along a Beijing street on April 10, 2009. Selective abortion in favour of males has left China with 32 million more boys than girls, creating an imbalance that will endure for decades, an investigation released on April 10 warned.



A woman in northwestern China forced by local officials to have a late-term abortion will be compensated, Chinese state media reported.

Local planning officials, meanwhile, have been sacked or punished over the case which has caused outrage in China and overseas after photos of Feng Jianmei lying next to the bloodied body of her seven-month-old fetus were published online, the BBC said today.

An investigation found officials in Zhenping county in Shaanxi province had used “crude means” when “persuading” Feng to abort her fetus earlier this month, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Reuters said the 22 year old was forced to sign a consent form for the termination because she already had a child and would not pay a fine to have a second child.

"There was also no legal basis for the township government's demand that Feng and her family pay a deposit of 40,000 yuan ($6,300) for a certificate allowing her to have her second child," Xinhua said, citing the findings of the official investigation.

Many see Feng’s abortion as an example of the extreme and inhumane measures Chinese officials will use to control the country’s population of more than 1.3 billion.

The three-decades-old "one-child policy" limits most couples to one child, though there are a number of exceptions to the rule. 

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Local authorities have dismissed Jiang Nenghai, head of the Family Planning Bureau in Zhenping County, and given "administrative demerits" to Yu Yanmei, deputy county magistrate of Zhenping in charge of family planning.

Xinhua said other local and hospital officials where the abortion took place have been punished, but the report did not elaborate.

But the lawyer representing the family told the Guardian that they were not satisifed with the result and were considering their options.

Forced abortion is an extremely sensitive topic in China. Blind activist lawyer Chen Guangcheng was jailed for four years and then kept under house arrest until his dramatic escape in April for his aggressive campaign against the practice. 

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