A woman in China’s south-central Hunan Province is slated to receive a 200,000 yuan (US$31,400; in 2010 the average household urban income in China, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, was 21,033 yuan or US$3,302) fine if she gives birth to her second child, it was reported Tuesday.
Cao Ruyi, a resident of Hunan’s capital city, Changsha, has been in a constant state of worry after she became pregnant with her second child five months ago.
Last week, around a dozen police officers and the family planning Communist Party secretary in Changsha raided Cao’s home and took her to a nearby hospital to perform a forced abortion. She was also reportedly beaten during the incident.
On Sunday, June 10, she and her husband were forced to sign a letter guaranteeing they will not have another child and they had to pay a guarantee of 10,000 yuan ($1,570), which she can only recover if she returns for an abortion on Saturday, June 16. According to NTD Television, authorities have threatened the couple with a fine of 200,000 yuan if she delivers the baby.
“[We] can only wait for the results on the 16th. [If we] are able to pay, then we’ll pay, if not then there is nothing else we can do. [We have to] protect the child first, then we’ll see what happens,” Li Fu, the husband of Cao, was quoted as saying by NTD Television.
“It happens almost everyday in various places. Many rural areas have no way to let the outside world hear their cries for help, to attract international attention. There are over 25,000 cases every day,” said Bob Fu, the president of China Aid, according to NTD.
Other reports suggest that Cao would have to pay a 150,000 yuan ($24,000) fine. Chai Ling, the head of the All Girls Allowed advocacy group, told The Australian that Cao would have to pay it for being a “social burden,” adding that she was released by the family planning officials.
Cao’s case has drawn international attention, notably from the U.S. State Department.
State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland at her daily press briefing on June 11 said her office is “concerned by these reports” that Cao will be forced to have an abortion or pay a fine.
“We have reached out to the Chinese authorities in Beijing to ask about this issue,” Nuland said. “We make no secret that the United States strongly opposes all aspects of China’s coercive birth limitation policies, including forced abortion and sterilization.”
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