Chinese officials have paid $11,000 to a woman forced to have an abortion seven months into her pregnancy, according to her attorney. The lawyer said the woman appreciated the financial compensation but said nothing would make up for the forced abortion and the taking of her baby’s life.
The forced abortion sparked international outrage as the picture of Feng Jianmei and the body of her aborted baby lying next to her in a hospital bed circulated the Internet.
According to multiple news reports, Zhang Kai, the lawyer for the woman and her husband, Deng Jiyuan, said the couple agreed to the settlement of 70,000 yuan, but that the couple faces “spiritual pain” that will endure a lifetime. The state-run Xinhua news agency said the money was meant to avoid any further legal entanglements over the abortion, adding, “The signing of the agreement means neither party should raise any question related to the issue again.”
Feng was forced to have the abortion after the family was unable to pay the 40,000 yuan fine for violating China’s one-child policy and two local officials were reportedly fired over the forced abortion case.
Chinese and American human rights groups exposed how the woman, Feng Jianmei, was beaten and dragged into a vehicle by a group of family planning officials while her husband, Deng Jiyuan, was out working. The officials asked for RMB 40,000 in fines from Feng Jianmei’s family and, when they did not receive the money, they forcibly aborted Feng at seven months, laying the body of her aborted baby next to her in the bed (pictured right).
The abortion has triggered a chain of angry protests from around the world and the human rights group ChinaAid indicated the family will be represented by an attorney who will press their case.
Feng’s husband wrote on the twitter-like web site Weibo about what happened, according tothe Wall St. Journal.
Feng’s husband, Deng Liyuan, said his wife was forced to have the abortion after the family failed to raise the cash to pay a 40,000 yuan fine for having a second child.
Family members said local officials surrounded the house where Ms. Feng was staying and prevented anyone from leaving. Ms. Feng tried to escape but was caught and taken to the hospital.
“While I was rushing to the hospital, they forced my wife to sign a document with her fingerprint, violently held her down and injected her with poison to cause the abortion,” Mr. Deng wrote on Sina Weibo.
ChinaAid has also been monitoring he case of Cao Ruyi, the five-month pregnant mother in Changsha, Hunan province, who faced the threat of a forced abortion. The group has been active in drawing Chinese and international attention to the case, leading to some recent positive developments.
Fu called the Shaanxi case of the killing of Feng Jianmei’s seven-month-old unborn child a shocking incident, adding, “We are convinced that the tragedy of this kind of human extermination happens daily in many different places. We are dedicated to the building of a Chinese society that respects life, love and justice.”
Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, who initially exposed the brutal forced abortion, said, “This is an outrage. No legitimate government would commit or tolerate such an act.”
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“Those who are responsible should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity,” Littlejohn said. “WRWF calls on the United States government and the leaders of the free world to strongly condemn forced abortion and all coercive family planning in China.”
The forced abortion happened just a few weeks after Chen Guangcheng, China’s highest-profile opponent of forced abortions carried under the country’s one-child policy, made global headlines with his daring escape from home confinement and six-day stay in the U.S. Embassy.