Official ‘forced abortion’ probe

By Jiang Jie Source:Global Times Published: 2013-8-7 0:58:01

An investigation team was set up on Tuesday in Lianyuan, Central China's Hunan Province, to look into an alleged forced abortion in 2011, after the husband claimed that the abortion resulted in his wife becoming mentally ill and demanded government compensation.

"We will make public the investigation findings and the officials responsible will be punished if the abortion was indeed forced," an anonymous official from the publicity department of the Lianyuan government told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Wu Yongyuan, the husband, told the Global Times that his seven-month pregnant wife was given an injection to abort their second child without his approval on November 1, 2011, after she was coerced by several local family planning officials.

"I was devastated and furious because the life of my family changed when a government official arbitrarily signed the approval for the abortion," Wu said.

Wu claimed that his wife began to show abnormal behavior roughly one month after the abortion. He said that from that point on she hardly left her home and was very irritable.

The wife was diagnosed with schizophrenia at the Shaoyang Brain Hospital and expert testimony in June showed that she was suffering from hallucinations and delusions, according to news portal

Wu filed a petition for compensation of 366,800 yuan ($59,935) on May 20 to cover his medical costs and living expenses, but all levels of government responded by saying that the family could only be compensated if the expert testimony specifically pointed out that the mental illness was caused by the forced abortion.

Wu was offered free medical treatment for his wife in a local hospital after he petitioned the government about his wife's disease and was also offered social welfare as long as he applied for subsistence allowances. These offers were rejected by Wu.

"My concern is that I can no longer protect my legal rights if I accept the so-called help from the local government. I can live on without the government's help. What I need is a fair judgment for my family and compensation for the damage caused," Wu said.

According to the official, it is stipulated that women who are more than 24 weeks pregnant cannot be forced to have an abortion, but he admitted that there had been occasions where improper abortion operations were carried out in Hunan and other provinces.

A seven-month pregnant woman in Northwest China's Shaanxi Province was reportedly forced by the local family planning workers to abort her child in 2012. Three local officials involved in the case were suspended from their posts and others were given disciplinary warnings in June, 2012.

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