Chinese Woman, Pregnant With a Girl, Dies After 9th Abortion

Chinese Woman, Pregnant With a Girl, Dies After 9th Abortion
A baby girl shares a room with her mother at a maternity ward in Yulin, Guangxi Province on Dec. 9, 2004. A mother dies in China after 9 induced labors. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)
Frank Fang

When the Chinese communist regime’s draconian population control measures meets the traditional Chinese family’s preference for the male child, tragedy can strike.

Mrs. Chen, a 31-year-old mother of three girls from China’s southern province of Guangdong, passed away in July 2015 after suffering excessive internal bleeding from her ninth abortion, according to a March 1 report by the Global Times, a nationalistic state publication.

Because Mrs. Chen’s mother-in-law wanted a grandson, she forced Mrs. Chen to abort her unborn children via induced labor after finding out that they were all female, according to the Global Times. Mrs. Chen was thus always unhappy and contemplated committing suicide several times.

Outraged Chinese Internet users took to Sina Weibo, China’s popular Twitter-like service, to  condemn Mrs. Chen’s mother-in-law and husband for allowing the tragedy to happen. Some netizens say that the mother and son lacked a conscience for forcing Mrs. Chen to abort nine unborn baby girls, while some called for Grandma Chen to be prosecuted.

Some of the harshest online criticism was targeted at the hospital that carried out the abortions.

“Is it legal for hospitals to carry out so many induced labors? Even if they want to make some money, shouldn’t they be aware that someone could actually die?” wrote a netizen from Gansu Province. Another netizen from Zhejiang asked: “Why do hospitals tell people the gender of unborn babies?”

A netizen from Guangdong using the moniker “Rene Nono” wrote: “Why did the hospital agree to this surgery? Hospitals that carry out induced labor should be severely reprimanded!”

The case of Mrs. Chen, while tragic, isn’t the worst case of forced abortion in recent history. In a prominent case in 2013, Chinese regime’s population control officials forced 7-month pregnant Gong Qifeng, a woman from Hunan Province, to undergo induced labor because she was about to have a second child, a violation of China’s then one-child policy. Gong delivered a stillborn baby boy after a painful 35-hour delivery, and subsequently began suffering from what doctors said was schizophrenia.

Frank Fang is a Taiwan-based journalist. He covers U.S., China, and Taiwan news. He holds a master's degree in materials science from Tsinghua University in Taiwan.