Canada Court Sides With Pregnant Chinese Woman for Abortion-Asylum

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 11, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Canada Court Sides With Pregnant Chinese Woman for Abortion-Asylum Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 11,

Ottawa, Canada ( — The Federal Court of Canada has sided with a pregnant Chinese woman who is seeking asylum there because she worries she would be forced to have an abortion or sterilized if the country sends her back to China. The ruling comes after a positive decision in US courts supporting asylum seekers and their partners.

Xiu Ying Cao, who is 23, had previously lost her bid for refugee status in Canada when the Immigration and Refugee Board rejected her petition.

The board said there was no reason for Xiu to fear she would be persecuted under China’s one-child policy that has resulted in a myriad of human rights abuses.

Xiu lives in Fujian province and she worked at a hotel as a waitress. She fell in love with a cook and soon became pregnant.

Her boyfriend later admitted to her he has married and already had a child and Xiu worried she would be forced to have an abortion or be sterilized after the birth of her baby.

"He insisted that I should abort the baby," she said, according to a CanWest News Service report. "As I am Christian and believe abortion is killing a life, I wanted to keep the fetus."

The news service reported that Xiu went into hiding with an aunt and her family raised $33,000 to have someone bring her to Canada to flee the possible forced abortion.

The board ruled against her but, in the appeal to the Federal Court, Justice James O’Reilly said there was no evidence that Chinese family planning officials would take a "tolerant view of an unmarried woman" her returned there pregnant or with a child.

In June, a federal appeals court in the United States ruled that asylum protections include both the women themselves as well as their spouses or partners.

The three judge panel of the 9th Circuit ruled unanimously in its June decision. int319.html

"Both forms of persecution have serious, ongoing effects," the panel wrote. "We see no way to distinguish between the victims of forced sterilization and the victims of forced abortion for withholding of removal eligibility purposes."