Chinese officials agree payout for forced abortion
CHINESE OFFICIALS have agreed a 70,600 yuan (€9,000) deal with the family of a woman who was forced to undergo a late-term abortion because they could not afford to pay a fine for breaking the country’s strict birth control policies.
The case in Ankang, in Shaanxi province, caused widespread outrage after a photograph of Feng Jianmei lying alongside her seven-month-old foetus was published online.
Feng’s husband, Deng Jiyuan, had previously planned legal action, but told the Associated Press yesterday that the government had agreed to pay the family 70,600 yuan.
He said his family wanted to return to a normal life.
Forced abortions are illegal in China, but the family came under intense pressure after speaking out. Relatives said they were followed, harassed and denounced as traitors for speaking to foreign media.
Authorities in Ankang later said they had fired two officials over the case and given five more formal warnings.
Mr Deng said his wife had been hooded, forced into a car and forcibly injected to induce the abortion because they could not afford the 40,000 yuan fine for having a second child.
Asked if the family were satisfied with the deal, his sister Deng Jicai said: “It can only be like this. Not everything can be measured in money.”
Zhang Kai, a lawyer who has been advising the family, said the government had described the payment as an allowance, when it should have been compensation.
He added: “70,000 for a person’s life? It is too little.”
The case has helped to fuel a wider debate about China’s one-child policy. Government researchers and other experts have urged authorities to ease the restrictions. – (Guardian service)