Appeals Court Considers China Woman’s Forced-Birth Control Asylum

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 5, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Appeals Court Considers China Woman’s Forced-Birth Control Asylum Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 5, 2005

Miami, FL ( — The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week considered the asylum request of a Chinese woman who says she was apprehended by population control officials in her native land and forcibly given a birth control device. Feng Chai Yang had had two children, a violation of the Asian nation’s strict one-child population control policy.

Yang says she kicked and screamed as Chinese population control officials implanted an intrauterine device in her body on two occasions. Doctors also gave an injection of an unknown substance that Yang says could have been a sterilization drug.

The appeals court is considering whether Yang’s experience is horrific enough to qualify her for asylum in the United States.

U.S. officials found Yang in New York, but her case was transferred to a Miami immigration board.

Yang told the court she was jailed for having more than one child and fined. She fears returning to China because she could be subjected to more fines and more prison time. Yang could also be forcibly sterilized — something that could win her the asylum she seeks.

Marco Pignone III, Yang’s attorney, argues that Yang’s asylum should be granted under a vague section of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

"It’s obvious that she’s being targeted," Pignone, who has handled numerous asylum cases, told the Daily Business Review.

Pignone said he needs more time to prove that Chinese officials are using experimental sterilization drugs. If he can find additional evidence, he says he can win the case.

"In fact, these are done and have been attempted in China," Pignone said.

Yang’s case was the first to bring up the possibility of sterilization drugs, but Pignone said he wouldn’t be surprised if Chinese population control officials were seeking a cheaper, faster and more effective way of punishing women who violate the one-child rules.