Kudos to the Washington Post’s Express tabloid, which on Friday published a gripping story from Associated Press by Didi Tang headlined “The Perils of Pregnancy In China.” It described how China’s communist government still carries out a one-child policy with late-term abortions that are supposed to be banned.
The text box in the Post tabloid came from once-expectant mother Gong Qifeng, who said “It was the pain of my lifetime, worse than the pain of a delivering a child. You cannot describe it.” AP’s Tang wrote a gripping account.
When her mind is clear, Gong Qifeng can recall how she begged for mercy. Several people pinned her head, arms, knees and ankles to a hospital bed before driving a syringe of labor-inducing drugs into her stomach.
She was seven months pregnant with what would have been her second boy. The drugs caused her to have a stillborn baby after 35 hours of excruciating pain. She was forced to have the abortion by officials in China’s southern province of Hunan in the name of complying with national limits on family size.
“It was the pain of my lifetime, worse than the pain of delivering a child. You cannot describe it,” Gong, 25, said in a recent interview in Beijing. “And it has become a mental pain. I feel like a walking corpse.”
Since the abortion more than two years ago, Gong has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. She traveled with her husband to the capital to demand help paying for her treatment, but she ended up being hauled away in her pajamas by police, a detention recorded on video by the AP.
Forced abortions are considered an acceptable way of enforcing China’s population limits, but they are banned when the woman is more than five months pregnant. Yet no one has been held accountable for Gong’s late-term abortion, and other women in similar cases also struggle to get justice and compensation.
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A longer version of that article explained that protests over forced late-term abortions peaked in June 2012 when family of Feng Jianmei in the northwestern province of Shaanxi revealed her forcibly aborted 7-month fetus on the Internet, drawing international media attention and prompting the top “family planning” official to reiterate the government didn’t endorse such misconduct.