A woman from Hong Kong was taken to have a forced abortion while visiting Hunan Province for her father’s birthday with her eight-year-old daughter and two-year-old son. Though she was six months pregnant, the local family planning office notified her that the pregnancy was unauthorized. With the assistance of the Hong Kong Immigration Department, she was successfully rescued within 24 hours.
A Frightening Journey Home
According to the July 10 Apple Daily News Report, a woman from Hong Kong, surnamed Hsiung, was visiting her 70-year-old father in Wan Jia Village, Tao County, Hunan Province, for his birthday along with her children. Around 7 a.m. on July 8th, she was awakened by loud noises and violent kicking at the door. The visitors claimed to be the county and town family planning officials and stated they wanted to inspect her birth allowance certificate. They suspected she was in violation of the “one child per couple” policy and should submit to a forced abortion. Ms. Hsiung replied that she was a resident of Hong Kong and thus not governed by the mainland's family planning program. She was told, “Hong Kong is part of China and is regulated by Chinese policy.” During the confusion, Hsiung, sought assistance, telephoning the Hong Kong Immigration Department and the Apple Daily News.
After speaking with Ms. Hsiung, the Immigration Department contacted the Public Security Bureau of Hunan Province, who then immediately instructed the Tao County Public Security Bureau to take care of this incident properly. When the police arrived, Ms. Hsiung opened the door and unexpectedly saw eight family planning officials there also. A policeman checked her Home Entry Permit, her HK ID Card and Certificate and indicated that he had no authority in this matter. Though she was left with her documents and children, the family planning officials stayed after the police left and tried to force her to go to the hospital for an abortion. Many of her relatives were present and they were able to intervene and prevent her from being taken away. The officials then left, but took her documents.
Hsiung Aware of Her Relatives’ Forced Abortions
To control population growth, mainland China's Communist government has maintained a policy called “Population and Family Planning Law,” with one child per couple allowed since 1978. Prior to a pregnancy, mainland couples have to apply and obtain an “Allowed Birth Certificate” to accompany their IDs, marriage certificate, etc. The Family Planning Office can force any woman with an unauthorized pregnancy to have an abortion.
Many abuses and tragedies occur because of this policy, such as: female infants being abandoned, the taking of drugs that induce multiple fetus pregnancies and giving birth in seclusion. Punishment for an unauthorized pregnancy can be brutal and instances like the destruction of residences, the impoundment and confiscation of furniture, electronics, and farm animals as well as the refusal to register the unauthorized child have all occurred. This coercive population control policy has led human rights organizations to severely criticize China for these alleged abuses.
Ms. Hsiung revealed that the mere mention of the family planning office would fill her with horror since she had witnessed so many pregnant women who had been subjected to a forced abortion. She said, “Three of my relatives in the countryside were seized and forced to abort their unauthorized pregnancies. All were pregnant for the first time, with one being 8 months along.”