Associated Press Examines People Forced To Undergo Abortions, Sterilizations

Armen Hareyan's picture

The Associated Press on Tuesday examined the increasingnumber of "ordinary citizens" who are "speaking out" about the Chinesegovernment's "regular but sometimes brutal intrusion into intimatefamily matters" to enforce the country's one-child-per-family policy(Olesen, Associated Press, 8/28).


China'sone-child-per-family policy seeks to keep the country's population, now1.3 billion, at about 1.7 billion by 2050. Methods of enforcing thepolicy, such as fines and work demotions, vary among Chinese provincesand cities (Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report, 8/7). According to the Associated Press, China bans forced abortions, but late-term abortions are not expressly prohibited or defined.

Someattorneys and social advocates recently have documented cases of forcedlate-term abortions. Human rights advocate and self-taught attorneyChen Guangcheng prepared a lawsuit documenting 20 cases of forcedsterilizations and abortions allegedly carried out in China's Shandongprovince in 2005 (Associated Press, 8/28). In August 2006,Chen was sentenced by a court in Shandong to four years and threemonths in prison for allegedly "willfully damaging property" and"organizing a mob to disturb traffic." An appeals court in Shandong inOctober 2006 ordered a retrial, but the Intermediate People's Court inthe province rejected the appeal and upheld the sentence in January (Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report, 8/24).

Inaddition, a couple is suing the Family Planning Bureau in Changlicounty, China, for an alleged forced abortion. Yang Zhongchen allegesthat his wife, Jin Yani, was forced to undergo an abortion in 2000because the couple did not have a birth permit. A court ruled againstthe couple, saying that the fetus was conceived before the couple wasmarried. The couple's appeal to a higher court is pending. Yang and Jinare seeking 290,000 yuan, or $38,000, in medical expenses, and onemillion yuan, or $130,000, in psychological distress (Associated Press, 8/28).

Reprinted with permission from You can view theentire Kaiser DailyWomen's Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for emaildelivery at The Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report is published for, afree service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.