Woman, Pregnant With Twins, Dies in Suspicious Hospital Fall

July 4, 2006 12:00 am Last Updated: September 15, 2015 7:57 pm

HONG KONG ― The Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy in Hong Kong reported on July 1 that Ms. Li Shimei of Hefei City in Anhui Province, who already had a child but was seven months pregnant with twins, was sent to the hospital for an induced labor under China’s One-Child Family Policy. { Editors’ Note: Under China’s One-Child policy, families are prohibited from having more than one child. Generally women pregnant with a second child are forced to have abortions. ]

Fearing for her safety and the lives of her unborn children, she refused the forced induction. She argued with the staff and subsequently died after falling from the second story of a hospital building.

The Information Center said that on the afternoon of June 21 in Yaohai district, Hefei City, Anhui Province, 18 people from the Tongling Road Family Planning Office suddenly entered Ms. Li Shimei’s home and force ably took her away to the Hefei Shuguang Hospital for induction of labor. Because Ms. Li Shimei was already seven months pregnant with twins, and because family members were barred from visiting her, she was suspicious that the proposed induced labor was a ploy to eliminate her unborn twins. She therefore refused to comply.

However, the doctors and the family planning office staff still demanded that she undergo the operation. When the staff attempted to force her, Ms. Li Shimei struggled and somehow fell from the hospital’s second floor. She died of injuries from the fall in early morning hours of June 22.

The Information Center learned that there were many large bruises on Li’s body; it appeared that she was severely beaten by the family planning office staff while in detention.

The Information Center believes that Li Shimei’s case reflects the gross violations of human rights inherent in the enforcement of China’s family planning policy. Detaining Li Shimei in that fashion violates the Chinese Constitution, while forcing her to accept an abortion while seven months pregnant with twins violates human decency.