International attention is again sharpening on China’s human rights record just ahead of Hilary Clinton’s first visit as U.S. Secretary of State to China. The Times Online reports on a turn of Chinese public opinion against how China’s family planning policy is enforced, as increasingly more women speak out online about forced abortions and sterilization.
Even as Chinese media and internet commentators break taboos to report birth control abuses, some officials are stepping up humiliating interventions in the lives of women.
Those with one child are likely to face regular pregnancy tests and pressure to be sterilised through a range of financial penalties or the threat of being sacked from their jobs.
Physical coercion to terminate a pregnancy or undergo sterilisation was banned by law in 2002 but numerous reports in the Chinese media claim that it still goes on.
Chinese women are daring to speak out themselves. Zhang Linla, who has a four-year-old daughter, told a website in Shenzhen, on the border with Hong Kong, that she was subjected to a late forced abortion because she became pregnant again before the period officially allowed between births.