Radio Free China

Human Rights and Religious Freedom News

Chinese Couple Sues Communist Government for Forced Abortion

Posted by radiofreechina on September 13, 2007

By Hilary White

September 13, 2007 ( – A Chinese couple is suing the communist government of China for a forced ninth-month abortion. Under the provisions of the one-child policy, Chinese citizens are required to obtain a license to have a first child. Conceiving a child before marriage is an offence. A young couple, Yang Zhongchen and his wife Jin Yani, had to wait until Jin was the minimum age of 20 before being married. This meant that their first child, a girl, was illegal.

Attempts to bribe local “family planning” officials failed and while Yang was out of town, Jin was abducted on September 7 by local officials a few weeks before her due date.

Jin described the incident in which she was taken to a local clinic and her clothes stripped from her. Doctors “pushed a large syringe into my stomach. It was very painful. It was all very rough.” Doctors then pulled the dead baby from her body with forceps.

While forced abortion is technically illegal in China, it is known that officials, faced with quotas, frequently succumb to what is usually described as “over-zealousness” in enforcing the official one-child policy. Yang and Jin are suing for $38,000 in medical expenses and $130,000 for psychological distress.

“They can’t really compensate for all that we have suffered,” Jin told local media. “Our baby will never come back … we just hope this kind of thing will never happen again.”

The couple’s previous attempt at redress in the courts failed. The judges ruled they had broken the law by conceiving out of wedlock. Local family planning officials claimed Jin had consented to the abortion. The couple is appealing the decision.

Even while China continues to be courted by governments and international business interests for its thriving economy, the government is determined to keep domestic opposition to its population control policies under wraps.

Chen Guangcheng, a blind, self-taught lawyer, has been imprisoned on fabricated charges to keep his campaign against the policy out of the international media eye. His activism placed him at the forefront of a growing civil rights movement against the one-child policy and forced abortion.

Guangcheng caught the attention of international media and was placed under house arrest from September 2005 to March 2006 after talking to Time magazine. Authorities arrested him in June 2006 for destruction of property and assembling a crowd to disrupt traffic.


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