Hunan Officials to Probe Forced Abortion Complaint

The Global Times reports that the local government of Lianyuan, in Hunan Province, has opened an investigation into an alleged forced abortion in 2011 after the husband claimed that his wife became mentally ill following the ordeal:

“We will make public the investigation findings and the officials responsible will be punished if the abortion was indeed forced,” an anonymous official from the publicity department of the Lianyuan government told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Wu Yongyuan, the husband, told the Global Times that his seven-month pregnant wife was given an injection to abort their second child without his approval on November 1, 2011, after she was coerced by several local family planning officials.

“I was devastated and furious because the life of my family changed when a government official arbitrarily signed the approval for the abortion,” Wu said.

Wu claimed that his wife began to show abnormal behavior roughly one month after the abortion. He said that from that point on she hardly left her home and was very irritable. [Source]

Chinese government officials turn to forced abortions as a way to enforce the country’s one-child policy. But while most Chinese oppose the family planning policy, their views on abortion are more murky – one prominent anti-abortion activist, who objects not to the coercion but to abortion itself, told The Economist that most Chinese do not consider the practice on ethical grounds:

Shifting social values in China mean that more people are having sex before marriage, leading to pregnancy for 20% of sexually active unmarried women, according to new research. Of those, 91% resorted to abortion. But now a few people are questioning this pragmatic approach.

Working from his home with a few volunteers, Mr Wang (a pseudonym) publishes brochures and a website that includes graphic images, arguing that life begins at conception and that all killing is wrong.

He is not entirely alone. Another group of activists bases its anti-abortion stance on Buddhist teachings. Some Christian groups run similar campaigns. In June police reportedly roughed up and briefly detained members of the Autumn Rain church in Chengdu, who were distributing anti-abortion pamphlets on the street. [Source]

See also CDT coverage of activist Chen Guangcheng, whose work to stop forced abortions in Shandong province landed him both on the TIME 100 List and under house arrest.


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