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

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs