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Chinese officials apologise for brutal treatment of pregnant woman

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Laura Mowat
WVoN co-editor 

At seven months pregnant, Feng Jianmei, 23, was forced to have an abortion on June 2 in the Shaanxi province of China.

She did not have the money for the fine required should a woman have a second child.  This birth would have exceeded the nation’s strict one child policy.

A large group of people from the family planning authority came to her house to force her to have the chemically-induced abortion.

The inhumane command was carried out to meet the population quotas set in Beijing.

The case has provoked public outrage after graphic images of the Chinese woman were spread online. Even the state run media has expressed their disapproval of the abortion. 

The Economist reported that in 1983, 14 million women had abortions organised by the family planning committees.  As of 2009, that number shrank to six million.  Officials have more of an incentive now to require fines — known as a ‘social maintenance fee’ — rather than terminate the pregnancies.

The family planning committee “swooped in,” according to the Economist, while Jianmei’s husband was out working a second job in order to pay the fine.  They chased her, followed her to her aunt’s home, and pursued her to the mountains where a friend lived.  When they found her, they injected her belly, causing a chemical abortion.

She gave birth to her dead child 30 hours later.

Authorities from the Chinese city of Zhenping have since apologised, and three officials have been suspended as part of the investigation.

The deputy mayor, Du Shouping, visited Jianmei also apologising for the way she was treated.

The local government has admitted that this was illegal as the foetus was terminated after the six-month limit.

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