Chinese Couple Will Get Court Hearing in Brutal Forced Abortion Case

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 5, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Chinese Couple Will Get Court Hearing in Brutal Forced Abortion Case Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 5,

Beijing, China ( — A Chinese couple who have filed a lawsuit against family planning officials over a forced abortion that has left the couple unable to have children may get a court hearing. The suit involves a woman who, in the ninth month of her pregnancy, was forced to have an abortion because the couple violated the nation’s laws.

Just days before she was scheduled to give birth, authorities took Jin Yani from her home to an abortion center. There, family planning officials injected a drug into her abdomen that killed her unborn child.

"Several people held me down, they ripped my clothes aside and the doctor pushed a large syringe into my stomach," she told the Associated Press about her ordeal last fall. "It was very painful. … It was all very rough."

Jin was hospitalized for 44 days and lost considerable blood because of the abortion and the hospital sent the couple a considerable medical bill.

The couple filed a lawsuit but the case went nowhere. Now, according to a London Telegraph report, the regional people’s court said in October that it would eventually hear the case.

It’s the first time such a court has agreed to take a case of this nature.

Once that decision came down, Jin’s husband Yang Zhongchen, a small-town businessman, said family planning officials contacted him about a job and health care for his wife to make up for their actions.

He told the newspaper the offers are too little, too late.

"They have made no mention of damages," he said. "We can get a job anywhere."

Jin says the couple can never be fully compensated for the death of their child, whom Jin says he planned to name Yang Yin.

"Our baby will never come back," Jin told the London paper. "We just hope this kind of thing will never happen again."

When the couple found out they were illegally pregnant five months before their marriage ceremony — birth outside of wedlock is prohibited in China — Yang hoped he could buy off family planning officials to allow him and his wife to have a baby.

Jin was an 18 year-old high school dropout when she met 30-year-old Yang, who works in construction, in September 1998. They moved in together and 18 months later Jin was pregnant.

The couple couldn’t get married because Chinese law prevents anyone under the age of 20 from getting a marriage license. They eventually got married but could not obtain the paperwork to have their child.

According to AP, Yang faced a fine of $660 to $1,330 for not getting the proper papers in advance and he tried to buy off Di Wenjun, head of the neighborhood family planning office in their hometown. He also bought a meal for the local head of the Communist Party.

But three weeks later they took Jin for the abortion.

One of Yang’s two lawyers, Wang Chen, told AP that’s because Yang merely bought them dinner but did not give them a bribe to look the other way.

"Dinner is not enough," Wang said. "Nothing gets done without a bribe. This is the situation in China. Yang was too naive."

Courts originally sided against them saying Jin consented to the abortion.

Today, Jin has lost his construction business because he cannot afford it and doctors say nothing is wrong with Jin, even though she has repeatedly tried to have children.

The Yang’s attorneys don’t expect the courts will ever reward them the money they are seeking in emotional and medical damages from the abortion.