Is forced abortion of her 7-month old baby the cause of the Hunan woman's mental disorder? Or does the answer matter anyway?


Chinese Society  Updated:Tue, Aug 6, 2013 23:22 PM   By Bernd Chang


A Chinese woman from Hunan province suffers from mental disorder one month after local family planning officials conducted forced abortion of her 7-month old baby, but local officials deny there is relationship between the abortion and her disease.

Forced abortion is no news in China and usually sparks little attention, but this case happening in Hunan still surfaces in the limelight as the mother suffers mental disorder after her 7-month-old baby was forcefully aborted, according to Chengdu Quansousuo News Website.

November 1, 2011 is a normal day but not for the family of Wu Yongyuan and Gong Qifeng. The couple Wu and Gong are peasants of Anping Town, Lianyuan City, Hunan province in central China. They rent an apartment in the urban area of Lianyuan city and run a small business there.

They had already a 3 years old son. According to Chinese family planning policy, they were not allowed to have a second baby unless the family would pay the officially called Society Fostering Fee, actually called fine for extra birth by the people. But when the wife got pregnant again they decided to give birth the baby and pay the fine. And by November,  their second unborn baby had been 7 months old and even named as Wu Jiazhen before the birth.

But Wu Jiazhen would never see his or her parents with own eyes. At around 3 pm, Wu went to the rented apartment to have a bath, but when he came out, he could not find his wife. He searched around but only until 6 pm did he hear that his wife was in Lianyuan Hospital of Chinese Medicine.

Actually, his wife was taken away by Anping township family planning officials, who pushed her onto a van and brought her to Lianyuan City Family Planning Service Station. There she had a physical examination and the report said she had a live 7-month old baby in her uterus and so “it is recommended to abort the baby in other hospital.”

Then Gong Qifeng was taken to the Lianyuan Hospital of Chinese Medicine. Usually doctors have to gain signed consent of the close relatives or the patient self before conducting the surgery. But that was not problem for the officials. Even if Gong refused to sign the consent of abortion surgery, the officials signed on her behalf.

Gong Qifeng received injection of infanticide drugs shortly. After two hours, Gong started to feel the sharp pain from the contracting uterus. After 30 hours of anguish, she gave birth to her second baby dead.

Since the baby was aborted, it seemed the couple could do nothing except to accept the loss of their baby. Wu paid 80 yuan to ask a nurse of the hospital to bury his dead baby randomly in a public tomb for aborted babies on the field behind the hospital.

If the wife had not display abnormal conditions after the forced abortion, Wu Yongyuan would have swallowed the pain of watching his baby being killed by officials and hospital doctors.

One month after the abortion, the wife Gong Qifeng began to display abnormal behaviors such as biting on people. And the abnormal conditions continued and kept deteriorating.  This June, Gong was diagnosed to be suffering from schizophrenia (a mental disorder that has no cure).

The one after another blow on the family pushes Wu into a very difficult situation.  Wu thinks the forced abortion of their unborn baby is the cause of his wife’s disease but the township officials deny there is any relationship between the abortion and his wife’s mental disorder.

Wu would not give up the hope of minimal justice. He kept petitioning to higher authority and asked for a redress for his sick wife.  Finally he got reply from the Lianyuan Petition Office: There is no evidence that the mental disorder of his wife was caused by abortion and so Wu will receive no compensation.

Certainly, in the eyes of the Anping town and Lianyuan city officials, forced abortion of any baby that is given no birth permit before pregnancy is not a crime or sin at all since it is a state volition.

Chengdu Quansousuo quoted a family planning official from Anping town as saying:

We took a written examination on family planning policy and it contained a question asking whether an late-term abortion is required or not. The standard answer is: although late-term abortion will cause physical and mental harm to woman, we must abort the baby since family planning is a national policy. 

But although forced abortion is inhumane, China does not want it to appear too inhumane especially when the country faces multiple consequence of the 30-year long one-child policy such as rapid aging of the society and expected 30 to 50 million life time bachelors by 2030 due to severe gender imbalance at birth. In 2004, China central family planning office issued a Care Girl program, which bans late-term (over 28 weeks of pregnancy) abortion and sex-selective abortion even though the baby is less than 28 weeks old.

The reaction of Chinese soceity is overwhealmingly criticism against the offcials, as one NetEase user comment gains wide recognition:

China lags behind USA by just 7 months: Americans are discussing whether a fertilized egg is life while Chinese are arguing about whether a 7-month-old baby is a life or not.

In last December, the forced abortion of a 7-month-old baby of a mother from Ankang city, Shaanxi province for not paying fine of 40000 yuan drew national indignation.

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