08/29/2013, 00.00
CHINA

Woman forced to abort at nine months because her husband already had a child

Lili Zeng underwent induced labour, and a lethal injection was made on the child's skull. In spite of all this, he was born alive, only to die in his mother's arms. The woman's husband forced the operation on her after he left her. He already had a son from a previous marriage. Women's Rights Without Frontiers slams what happened.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - A Chinese woman was forced to abort in the ninth month of her pregnancy because of her former husband's vindictiveness. In her own words, she was treated "as if I were a pig waiting to be slaughtered". In the end, she watched her child terminated, dying in her arms after birth.

This is the horrific story of Lili Zeng, a young mother from Xinfeng County (in the rich southern province of Guangdong); just another victim of China's one-child policy.

Her experience is told by Women's Rights Without Frontiers, a non-governmental organisation led by Reggie Littlejohn who has been fighting to save innocent lives in China for years.

Zeng's tragedy began in 2011. When she became pregnant, her husband left her. Having had another son from his first wife, he signed a consent form to force an abortion on his current wife.

Under Chinese law, abortion may be imposed by force if one spouse does not want to have children. What is more, already having a child is sufficient ground to stop a pregnancy.

For Chinese authorities, the husband's desertion and Zeng's opposition were not enough to stop them.

For the woman, her husband's consent to the abortion was due to his first wife's vindictiveness. In the end, red tape delayed everything until the ninth month, when Zeng was forcibly confined to a hospital for the abortion.

At such a late date, this kind of operation is a very risky, painful and completely unjustified. Zeng said she felt "as if I were a pig waiting to be slaughtered."

Despite the lethal injection in the skull and the labour pains caused by drugs, the child was born alive but died in his mother's arms shortly after.

Zeng said that she has attempted suicide three times after her release from hospital. Fortunately, they failed each time. Now she wants justice and is going through official channels like her local of Family Planning Office.

"If you want to blame someone, please blame the [One-Child] Policy, or your husband," said one of the officials after being solicited extensively for an explanation.

"If he had not agreed to sign the form, no doctor would have dared to inject the induced labour needle into your body. Lili Zeng . . . if you continue to send text messages or call to berate me, I will definitely find someone to deal with you," he told her.

For Reggie Littlejohn, "Our hearts break for Ms Zeng [. . .].  Her experience dramatically demonstrates the connection between forced abortion and China's astronomical female suicide rate:  590 women a day end their lives in China.

Her situation "shows that-even when a woman is pregnant with her first child-if it is her husband's second child, she can be forcibly aborted.  We strongly condemn forced abortion under China's One Child Policy and demand that the Chinese government put a stop to these atrocities immediately."

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