China's "one family - one child" policy results in 13 million abortions every year. Many of these abortions take place under the pressure from authorities. Demographic restrictions are still in effect in China despite the country's impressive economic growth: family couples are still legally prohibited from having more than one child. The law per se is a gross violation of human rights, although these rights are violated at a much greater extent by family planning department officials. Al Jazeera has recently reported the story of a female Chinese citizen, who had lost her baby because of the tyranny of Chinese officials.
Xiao Aiying, a woman residing in the south-east of the country, was forced to get rid of her baby when she was eight months pregnant. The woman already had a ten-year-old daughter.
Violating the demographic law stipulates serious penalties in China: a fine of up to $40,000, dismissal from work and confiscation of property. Women can even be sterilized, if they become pregnant repeatedly.
Thirteen million abortions a year is a terrifying number, although many independent medical experts say that the real state of affairs in China is even more shocking. According to the World Health Organization, every 1,000 Chinese females aged from 15 to 44 make 24 abortions on average. In 2003, there were 42 million abortions conducted in the world, and 9 million of them were performed in China.
Nothing has changed for the better in the country since then, although high-ranking officials start talking about the need to lift the demographic ban. In China's remote areas, forced abortions occur on a regular basis, but they have become a part of everyday life in modern and highly civilized areas of the country too. Millions of Chinese women will be subjected to savage surgeries before the government decides to cancel the inhuman law.
This has happened to Xiao Aiying. On October 10, the pregnant woman was detained, beaten and forced to have an abortion just a month before her due date because the baby would have violated the country's one-child limit, the Associated Press reports.
Luo Yanquan said his wife was taken kicking and screaming from their home by more than a dozen people on Oct. 10 and detained in a clinic for three days by family planning officials, then taken to a hospital and injected with a drug that killed her baby, the AP said.
As soon as the woman's story transpired in the foreign press, an official spokesman for China's demographic department rejected the information. According to the official, it was the woman herself, who made the decision to abort the baby.
"I never signed anything. No one in our family did," Luo Yanquan said by telephone from Xiamen. "I called the police but they said family planning issues weren't their responsibility. I want to sue, but lawyers I've asked here say they can't help me and the media won't report on our case," the AP reports.
The story eventually appeared on Al Jazeera's website along with pictures of the woman. The photos show a pained-looking, and clearly pregnant, Xiao sitting on a hospital bed after the injection but before the baby was stillborn 40 hours later. Other images show a large purple bruise on her arm and scratches on her leg, which Luo said were caused when family planning officials hit and kicked her as she struggled to get away, the AP reports.
The woman's story is just an example of extreme lawlessness, which Chinese officials resort to in their struggle for observation of the nation's family planning laws. It goes without saying that such measures are absolutely illegal, but the police and judicial authorities turn a blind eye on the problem, while the censorship-prone media outlets report nothing about it.