China Woman Who Died Fleeing Forced Abortion May Have Been Beaten

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 4, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

China Woman Who Died Fleeing Forced Abortion May Have Been Beaten Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 4, 2006

Beijing, China ( — A Chinese woman who died trying to flee family planning officials who wanted to forced her to have an abortion of her twin unborn babies may have been beaten beforehand, new information shows. The Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy in Hong Kong says Li Shimei may have been attacked before she attempted to flee.

Li was seized at her home by 18 people from the Tongling Road Family Planning Office. They took her to the hospital in the eastern city of Hefei, Hefei Shuguang Hospital, because she already had one child when she became pregnant.

They planed to force her to have an abortion by inducing labor early and killing the babies as they were in the process of being born, the center says.

Chinese women are allowed to only have one child under the nation’s family planning policies and forced abortions and sterilizations are routine.

Li, who was seven months pregnant, fell to her death from Shuguang Hospital’s second floor while trying to escape after arguing and struggling with family planning officials.

But, the human rights group has learned that there were many large bruises on Li’s body and it appears family planning officials beat her while she was in detention before the attempted

"The Information Center believes that Li Shimei’s case reflects the gross violations of human rights inherent in the enforcement of China’s family planning policy," the group said in a statement. "Detaining Li Shimei in that fashion violates the Chinese Constitution, while forcing her to accept an abortion while seven months pregnant with twins violates human decency."

The death occurred on June 22 and hospital officials would not give the woman’s name or any further details when media tried to contact them.

The Information Centre said Li’s death was under investigation by Hefei police but the police told one media outlet they didn’t know about the case.