Chinese Woman Should Get Asylum From Forced Abortions, Court Rules

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 23, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Chinese Woman Should Get Asylum From Forced Abortions, Court Rules Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 23, 2004

Chicago, IL ( — After being denied political asylum, a Chinese woman frequently moved between friends’ houses in New York City and Chicago fearing should could be deported at any time. Now, Xia Lin’s life on the run may be over thanks to a federal appeals court decision saying she does not have to return to China, where she faces a third forced abortion.

Lin says that the Chinese government forced her to abort two pregnancies under its coercive family planning policies and will subject her to involuntary sterilization if she is forced to return to China.

Lin filed for asylum, but an immigration judge denied her request.

In a ruling Wednesday, the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals overturned that decision and sent the case to a new judge requesting a new ruling in favor of Lin’s asylum.

Attorneys for Lin said the decision means she will be able to legally stay in the United States, according to a Chicago Tribune report.

U.S. immigration officials denied Lin’s asylum request in part because Lin could offer no proof the forced abortions took place.

But, Lin had no evidence because Chinese officials only provide documentation that an abortion was performed when a woman willingly aborts the pregnancy.

“If I could get evidence … that would prove to you that that abortion was voluntary. Because it was involuntary, I couldn’t produce that evidence," Lin told the appeals court.

Like many others who have fled China, Lin and her husband married before they had reached the legally permissible age — 23 for women and 25 for men.

Several months after they were married, Lin gave birth to a daughter. When she arrived at
the hospital for the delivery, Lin was unable to produce the required “birth permit” because her marriage had not yet been registered with the government.

The Chinese government fined the couple more than $3,500 for having a child before Lin turned 23 years old and for marrying too early.

Then, six months after the birth of her daughter, Chinese population control officials inserted an intrauterine device (IUD) in Lin to prevent future pregnancies.

However, Lin and her husband wanted more children and they paid a private doctor to remove the device and Lin became pregnant for a second time.

Fearing she would be forced to have an abortion, Lin fled to her brother’s house and failed to show up for a required checkup to ensure the IUD was still in place.

Although she tried to avoid detection by remaining indoors, Lin believes that somebody reported her pregnancy to family planning officials. Lin claims that eight people arrived at her brother’s house one night to take her to the hospital for an abortion.

Though Lin and her relatives fought with population control officials, she was detained and her four-month old unborn child was aborted.

One month later, Lin paid another fine and had a second IUD forcibly inserted. Years later, Lin again paid a private doctor to remove the device.

Again, Lin became pregnant. This time, she quit her job and moved in with her sister in another town, but population control officials tracked her down after she missed an IUD checkup.

Lin believes she was reported by an anonymous informed a second time and, once again, family planning officials raided Lin’s home and took her to a local hospital for an abortion of her six month pregnancy.

Lin was forcibly fitted with a third IUD and her husband was threatened with the loss of her job if she caused any further trouble.

Despite the threats, Lin paid a third time to have the IUD removed. When she became pregnant again, the couple decided it was time for he to flee China.

As a result of the appeals court’s decision, Lin told the Tribune she hopes her husband and two children can join her in the United States.

Related web sites:
7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision –