Bush Administration: China Still Violating Women With Forced Abortions
by Steven Ertelt
March 1, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A report released Monday by the Bush administration says the Chinese government continues to engage in "numerous and serious human rights abuses." Released by the State Department, the report focuses on incidents in China during 2004.
"Violence against women, including imposition of a coercive birth limitation policy that resulted in instances of forced abortion and forced sterilization, continued to be a problem," the report says.
One of the top incidents of human rights abuse involves Mao Hengfeng, a woman who has been sentenced to 18 months in a labor prison camp for her fifteen years-long battle with the Chinese government after she lost her job when she became pregnant a second time.
She was also coerced into having an abortion after officials claimed she would receive her old job as a result. Instead, she was jailed and has been beaten and tortured.
The State Department report sheds additional light on the abuses she has suffered at the hands of the Chinese government.
"She reportedly was held with drug addicts who were allowed to abuse her, was strapped to her bed for hours at time, was force-fed an unidentified medicine that turned her mouth black, and, on one occasion, had her limbs pulled in different directions for a period of 2 days," Monday’s report indicated.
Though such acts are supposedly illegal, the report documents cases in which Chinese women were forced to have abortions and other incidents where men and women were forcibly sterilized.
In June, officials in Jieshou City, Anhui Province, forced a woman to be sterilized, and state media reported that the woman was injured when she jumped out of a window in the operating room in an attempt to avoid the procedure.
In the same city, another woman committed suicide when her relatives were detained in population schools, facilities designed to provide reeducation to those who violate family planning guidelines.
"The use of population schools as detention centers was condemned by Central Government officials. According to state-media reports, the local officials responsible for the detentions were fired or sanctioned administratively," the report explained.
Meanwhile, a drug offender in Gansu Province was forced to have an abortion before her trial.
Although the Chinese government says it attempts to ban coercion when it comes to the one-child policy, "the Government does not consider social compensation fees and other administrative punishments to be coercive," the State Department report indicated.
The corruption in the family planning program is so bad at the local level that the national family planning office reported investigating 10,000 complaints in 2002.
Looking at practices at the local level, the report said that, "Psychological and economic pressure were very common; during unauthorized pregnancies, women sometimes were visited by birth planning workers who used threats, including that of social compensation fees, to pressure women to terminate their pregnancies."
"The country’s population control policy relied on education, propaganda, and economic incentives, as well as on more coercive measures such as the threat of job loss or demotion and social compensation fees," the report concluded.
Related web sites:
State Department Report on China – https://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2004/41640.htm