Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A woman has been forced to undergo an abortion at seven months pregnant, although her husband was trying to pay exorbitant fines to avert it. Now the couple has denounced the local government. Meanwhile, scholars and lawyers are becoming increasingly critical of the one-child policy.
Pan Chunyan, 30, of Daji (Fujian) was pregnant with a baby of seven months (see photo). With her husband Wu Liangjie they already have two children: an 8 year old girl and a boy of three. Last March, a group of men of the Office for population control, traveled to Shishi (120 km from Daji), where Wu was working to threaten him with having violated the one-child law: or pay 45,300 Yuan ( about 5800 Euros) in fines or his wife was to undergo a forced abortion.
Returning to the village, Wu paid 20 thousand Yuan. But a month after the funds were returned, and his wife was kidnapped and locked in a room with other pregnant women. At that point, the local government asked him to pay a fine of 55 thousand Yuan (more than 7 thousand Euros). Despite having paid two days later, more than 60 people with different cars, arrived at his house, seize his wife and took her to hospital where they administered an injection to procure the abortion.
In an interview reported on the South China Morning Post, Wu said his wife "was on her knees pleading with them, but they did not listen." Two days later the woman gave birth to the fetus of seven months, "at the sight of the little body she was reduced to crying and screaming."
Disgusted by this law and its use as a means of income for the bureaucrats and as a means of blackmail, Wu decided to publish his story on the internet and to denounce the local government in Daji. Since then he is hiding in Beijing with his wife, in a secret place. The local government ordered him to remove his story from the Internet or he in turn will be visited by thugs.
Can Xu, a Beijing lawyer, on behalf of Wu Liangjie, has denounced the Daji government and calls for an investigation into the criminal act and compensation for the physical and moral damage.
The story of this latest forced abortion comes only one month from the story from Ankang (Shaanxi), where a woman was forced to abort at seven months. This violence made headlines because images of the woman in pain and exhausted, with the little body of her aborted child beside her on the bed, appeared on the internet.
According to Xu Can, "rather than relying on coercion, the country should reward couples who voluntarily agree to have only one child. At most they could resort to the fines, but should never used forced abortion for a pregnancy that is almost at term. This is a crime. "
The one child law is increasingly under fire from academics and entrepreneurs. For the former it is a violent manner for the control of the population. For others it is in danger of sliding China into a demographic winter as the population ages and workforce diminishes.
In early July, following the Ankang case, 15 academics and businessmen submitted a petition to the Standing Committee of National People's Congress (China's parliament). It denounces the one-child law as a violation of human rights, guaranteed by the constitution of the country. The petition explains that penalizing families who have a second child with heavy fines or with the dismissal violates a citizens' right to procreation. Moreover, allowing farmers and ethnic minorities have two children, is a basis of discrimination against the residents in the city and against the majority Han (Chinese). The group of signatories - who include Prof. Zhan Zhongle, a law professor at Beijing University - demands that the one-child law be amended. As drafted 30 years ago they say it no longer responds to the needs of today's China.
In addition, three researchers from a government think tank - Ge Yanfeng, Yu Dong and Zhang Bingzi - have spoken out against the one-child law. In an article in China Economic Times, published in recent days, they accuse the law of creating many of the problems the country has to face today, including a rapidly aging population and decline in national workforce.
For this they are asking the government to allow families to have at least two children.
For years, demographers have been warning China of an economic collapse caused by the one-child law. But so far, every year, the government has confirmed its validity, considered important to ensure the country's development.
According to the World Health Organization in China each year, 14 million forced abortions take place related to the one-child law, 25% of all abortions in the world.