While forced abortions and sterilisations are illegal in China, they persist as authorities struggle to keep local births within strict central government quotas. The Guardian’s Tania Branigan reports on a recent case in which a pregnant woman apparently died during a forced operation to abort her third child:
When Ma Jihong became pregnant for a third time, she looked forward to expanding her family. So many neighbours had broken China’s strict birth quotas she thought she could too.
But six months later she died in panic on an operating table after officials in Lijin, Shandong province, forced her into a late-term abortion, relatives have said ….
“Although the policies are less extreme than in previous decades, it is a mistake to think these issues have disappeared,” said Nicholas Bequelin, the senior Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Sanctions, fines and forced abortions continue to be imposed on rural women.”