Seven-month-pregnant woman forced to abort

This is not the first time China's family planning policy has been implemented to its extreme, but news that seven-month-pregnant woman was forced to abort her baby has still shocked public.

    This is not the first time China's family planning policy has been implemented to its extreme, but the news that a seven-months-pregnant woman was forced to abort her baby has still shocked the public.

    In Zhenping county, Shaanxi province, a news item popped up on the local government family-planning centre's website to show off their achievement.

    Feng Jianmei was seven-months pregnant with a second child after giveing birth to a girl in 2007, "after the repeated talks to convince her to give up the baby by our local government cadres, Feng finally agreed to abort the baby," reads the centre's website.

    The One Child Policy was established in 1979. It is enforced strictly in cities, but has many exception.

    In a lot of rural areas, couples are allowed to have two children, ethnic minorities are also given permission to have two or more children.

    In 2007, China's national population and family planning commission of China estimated that 35.9 per cent of the population are allowed one child, 52.9 per cent of the population are allowed to have a second child if the first is a girl, this is usually the situation in rural China.

    In this case, Feng Jianmei was married into the rural family but still kept her city residential permit. Therefore it's against the law for her to have a second baby.

    In principle, Beijing has been trying to move away from brutal enforcement of the law by banning forced abortion and sterilizations, and also implementing a heavy fine policy.

    But in reality, the abuses of women continue, with local officials told to meet difficult birth targets and central government only caring about the numbers.

    The news has caused much debate in the media, with some calling for a reform in the policy while others remain supportive of the government.

    The English language Global Times, a government-backed newspaper, recognises that the termination of late-term pregnancies should be condemned, but maintains that the policy shouldn't be refuted, as it has "freed China from the burden of an extra 400 million people".

    Forced abortion is not the only problem with the one-child policy.

    With families who have money, huge sums are charged if they decide to have a second child.

    Earlier this year, a couple from Zhejiang province paid more than $200,000 for a fine to have their second child. Some choose to give birth in Hong Kong or the US, countries where a child would be given citizenship after birth to escape the fine.

    More than 40,000 people posted comments to discuss the news on, one of China's biggest online portals. Here are some interesting ones:

    "Seven months is a small life already, these family planning people should be charged with murder."

    "Having more children means a better hope to solve social welfare problem that will emerge soon. In 30 years time, a single-child couple will have to support 4-12 parents, grandparents, how can they afford to do that?"

    "This woman created the problem herself, she should have followed the rules, a country has to have its laws, it's her responsibility to not break the law."

    "These rural families don't have the resources to bring up kids and give them eduction, why do they have to have all these children, it's a waste of resource."

    "What we've been doing is just to spare more living space and resources for foreigners who seem to be better than us."


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