News / Asia

China Reaches Settlement in Forced Abortion Case

A man walks past a roadside sculpture which promotes China's one-child policy, in Beijing ( Dec. 20, 2003 file photo)
A man walks past a roadside sculpture which promotes China's one-child policy, in Beijing ( Dec. 20, 2003 file photo)
VOA News
The Chinese government has reached a cash settlement with the family of a woman forced by local officials to abort her baby. But activists say the case is only the beginning of a long battle to reverse China's decades-long one-child policy.

Authorities in China's northern Shaanxi province abducted Feng Jianmei last month and forced her to have an abortion, seven months into her pregnancy, after she failed to pay a $6,300 fine for being pregnant with a second child.

After pictures surfaced online reported to show the bloodied fetus of Feng's baby, the government issued a rare apology and conducted an investigation that led to the firing of several officials.

Chinese state media declared the controversy to be finished on Wednesday after Feng's husband, Deng Jiyuan, agreed to drop all legal appeals in exchange for a $11,000 compensation package.

But activists, including Bob Fu of the U.S.-based rights group ChinaAid, say no amount of cash can compensate for the years of injustices that have allegedly resulted from China's sometimes violently enforced family planning policies.

"The bottom line is there are hundreds and thousands of [cases like] Feng Jianmei every day happening like that," noted Fu. "So the forced abortions even in the past few weeks, from the cases we have received, there are horrible, horrible stories. Some women experience much worse than Feng Jianmei."

Since China's one-child policy was implemented in 1978 in an effort to curb population growth, millions of women have reportedly been forced to end their "illegal" pregnancies.

Fu, who spoke at a U.S. Congressional hearing on the matter this week, notes that the international community has recently increased pressure on China to end the policy. He says Chinese citizens are growing bolder to speak out on the matter.

"I think there is a wake-up call already, from the inside out," Fu said. "I think with the international consensus to address this war against women for the past 30 years, and the Chinese people's own [collective] consciousness, and speaking up and standing up -- that will change the policy. I am very optimistic, but of course it will be a long road."

The Feng Jianmei case comes just weeks after the incident involving blind Chinese dissident lawyer Chen Guangcheng, who angered Chinese officials by exposing abuses related to enforcement of the one-child policy.

Chen sparked a diplomatic problem between Beijing and Washington after he said he feared retaliation by Chinese authorities. He has since fled to temporarily exile in the United States.

Ultimately, Fu says such cases demonstrate that the one-child policy is "inhumane." But he says it may also prove to be economically unsustainable, as China struggles to deal with a rapidly-growing population and a growing gender imbalance that has come as a result of families choosing to keep boys but abort girls.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid