Chinese Woman Dies After Forced Sterilization Under One-Child Policy

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 8, 2013   |   11:08AM   |   Dabancheng Village, Hubei Province

A mother of two died after a forced sterilization, which took place against a doctor’s orders, according to the human rights group Women’s Rights in China.

On March 19, a doctor at Tongshan County warned that sterilizing Shen Hongxia would be life-threatening. Nevertheless, local Family Planning Officers forcibly sterilized her, in order to avoid an “illegal pregnancy.” Shen Hongxia, 42, died, leaving behind her husband and two children, one of whom is two years old.

The Family Planning Bureau and the Village Committee attempted to cover up their criminal responsibility by making an agreement to compensate the family by installments, and to build them a house.  Family members felt forced to sign the agreement, as they saw no other way to seek relief.

Reggie Littlejohn, President of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, emailed LifeNews about the woman’s death.

“Women’s Rights Without Frontiers strongly condemns forced sterilization and all coercive family planning in China,” she said. “The fact that Shen Hongxia’s doctor had clearly warned that sterilizing her could kill her makes her death the responsibility of the Family Planning Officers who forced this violent surgery upon her.  Compensating her family with money is not enough.  Those responsible for her death should face serious criminal charges.”

Littlejohn said this is the second death related to forced sterilization in March alone.  In the other case, a woman who had been forcibly sterilized twice was found hanging in her local Family Planning Office, under suspicious circumstances.

Littlejohn stated, “The Chinese Communist Party recently admitted to performing 196 million sterilizations.  These sterilizations too often leave women butchered and maimed, and can at times be deadly.  I first learned of the brutality of China’s One Child Policy by representing a woman who had been forcibly sterilized.  Family Planning Officials literally dragged her out of her home kicking and screaming, held her down to a table and cut her open with no anesthesia.  She said it felt like someone was burning her insides with a blowtorch.  Since then she has lived in chronic pain. We need to fight forced sterilization as much as forced abortion in China.”

ChinaAid founder and president Bob Fu added that, after her death, the family planning bureau and the village Communist Party committee bought off her family with an “agreement” whereby the authorities would pay compensation under an installment plan and build them a house in exchange for the family’s silence. In this way, they sought to cover up the homicide and escape legal liabilities in a case in which they would be investigated for criminal liabilities and civil compensation.



Coerced and under pressure to accept the official inducements, the family felt it had no recourse but to accept the local government’s offer, and they signed the papers, believing that there was no way to win justice for this wrongful death, he said.

“This murderous act against an innocent woman is but the latest horrifying case in the 30-year bloody history of China’s ‘one-child’ policy,” said Fu. “To avoid more such atrocities, China’s arbitrary family planning policy should be immediately stopped.”

Fu told LifeNews that Women’s Rights in China is taking steps to offer the family legal assistance.