Women in China say they still are being coerced and forced to abort their unborn babies under the country’s new two-child policy.
The communist country’s population control policies have led to massive abuses against women and families for decades. Women have been force-sterilized and forced to abort their unborn babies as late as nine months of pregnancy. Husbands, wives and family members have been abused, jailed, fired from their jobs and hit with crippling fines as high as ten times their annual household income because they refused to abort a child.
Last year, Chinese officials announced that they were changing the one-child policy to a two-child policy in 2016. Some took the news as a good sign, but many others said the expanded policy would not end the abuses.
A growing pile of evidence indicates that they are right.
In the Epoch Times, Jonathan Abbamonte of the Population Research Institute described the current situation in China:
Women continue to face significant pressure and heavy-handed persuasion tactics from family planning officials to abort their children if they are over their birth quota. “We’ll definitely find you and persuade you to do an abortion,” one family planning official told an undercover investigator posing as a woman pregnant with her third child as part of a recent investigation by the BBC into China’s two-child policy.
Women who fail to comply with the policy could still “in principle” be compelled to submit to an abortion, by physical force if necessary, according to one family planning official.
The threat of forced abortion remains all too real for many. “If we weren’t in hiding, they would have forced us to have an abortion,” a local told the BBC who had fled their village with his wife when she became pregnant with their third child.
Later, he continued:
Women who dared to defy the government mandate were often forced to flee to a neighboring county or even to a foreign country to escape the family planning police. Our organization’s own investigators have come across many women who suffered at the hands of the planned birth program. One of these women, who after being forced into hiding when she became pregnant with her second child, purchased the body of an aborted infant to show to the local planning officials in order to convince them that she had terminated her pregnancy as required.
In August, Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, which supports women and girls in China, reported a woman who was six months pregnant was coerced to abort her baby because she violated the two-child policy. Threatened with huge fines and loss of their jobs, Anxiang and her husband said they aborted their much-wanted child, according to the group.
“Although Anxiang was not physically dragged out of her home for an abortion, this abortion was nevertheless coerced,” Reggie Littlejohn, president of the organization, said at the time. “You can force someone through physical coercion or financial coercion. Any abortion against the will of the mother is forced.”
The group reported two other cases where women who were eight- and six-months pregnant also were facing threats and onerous fines if they did not abort their babies.
There are more than 13 million abortions a year, or 1,500 an hour, in China, according to government statistics. Many are attributed to the one-child policy, which began in 1979. The country also has an unnatural gender imbalance of 118 males for every 100 females, because baby girls often are targeted for abortion or abandonment.