A seven-month pregnant mother in China was recently beaten and forced to abort her unborn daughter, according to human rights groups. A graphic image of the aborted baby lying next to the mother has been posted on the Web. "The baby was lifeless, and she was all purple and blue," said Feng Jianmei. It was her second child.
"Feng Jianmei's story demonstrates how the One-Child Policy continues to sanction violence against women every day," said Chai Ling, founder of All Girls Allowed. "We learned that family planning officials in Jianmei's region are launching a campaign of forced abortions this month. They received a lower grade from the government because of 'over-quota' births, and Jianmei's story shows us how they plan to respond. Unfortunately her family was the first to receive the 'opening of the knife.'"
Watchdog Chinese Skynet Center for Human Rights first broke the story and it was picked up this week by Women's Rights Without Frontiers.
According to reports, Jianmei was beaten and dragged into vehicle on 2 June by family planning officials while her husband, Deng Jiyuan, was at work. Jiyuan told Ling of All Girls Allowed that five men had abducted his wife and taken her to a hospital where they held her down.
"They covered her head with a pillowcase. She couldn't do anything because they were restraining her," the husband stated.
The officials asked her to pay fines worth more than $6,000 but when the money wasn't given, they forced Jianmei to sign an abortion "consent" form. They inked her thumb and pressed it forcibly against the form.
Toxins were then injected into the brain of her unborn daughter.
"I could feel the baby jumping around inside me all the time, but then she went still," the mother recounted to Ling.
The forced abortion took place on 3 June. After enduring painful contractions, she gave birth on June 4 to her deceased child.
Jiyuan said his wife pulled a knife against herself while thinking about her child. Feeling helpless, he said, "What can I do? I'm just an average worker. I have no power."
Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women's Rights Without Frontiers called on the US government and other leaders of the free world to "strongly condemn" forced abortion in China.
"This is an outrage. No legitimate government would commit or tolerate such an act," Littlejohn stated.
China's one-child policy applies to couples living in urban areas. A maximum of two children are allowed for couples living in rural areas if the first child is a girl.
The United States expressed strong opposition to forced abortion and sterilisation this week. Victoria Nuland, spokeswoman for the State Department, said Monday that they "always raise these issues with the Chinese government".
But Nuland's comment was in reference to another mother in China who is five months pregnant with her second child. Cao Ruyi had recently been threatened with a forced abortion but global outcry prompted Chinese officials from the family planning office to release her this past weekend.
Ruyi still remains under pressure, however, to pay $25,000 to continue her pregnancy. If she is unable to pay the heavy fine, some are concerned family planning officials will force an abortion.
Littlejohn noted that the recent incidents expose China's enforcement of its one child policy through late-term forced abortions. The fines, she further noted, are also impossible to pay for many couples as they can reach ten times a person's annual salary.
Women's Rights Without Frontiers has launched a petition to stop forced abortion in China.
Chinese health officials reported in 2009 that more than 13 million abortions are performed each year in China, or about 24 abortions for every 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44.