China "One-Child" Policy Leaves Couple Distraught After Alleged Forced Abortion

By: CBS News (posted by Carissa Fox)
By: CBS News (posted by Carissa Fox)

Chinese officials are allegedly violating the nation's law against forced abortions to meet quotas imposed under the so-called "one-child" policy.

CBS News partner network Sky News met a couple from Shandong province just a week after they say government officials stormed their home in the middle of the night, restrained Zhou Guoqiang and whisked his wife away to a government-run hospital.

Zhou told Sky's correspondent Mark Stone that he begged to pay the fine to get an exemption from the controversial population control policy, but by the time he made it to the hospital, his wife Liu Xinwen had already been injected with drugs to kill their child.

The couple, who already have a 10-year-old son, is devastated.

One nurse on the maternity ward at the hospital talked to Stone about the case, but she insisted she could not say whether the abortion was forced or voluntary. "It is not my place to care," she told him.

China's "Family Planning" laws came into effect about three decades ago. They allow families in rural areas to have a second child if their first was a girl. Other couples are granted permission to expand their families for a fee, which can be exorbitant. There are heavy fines for violating the rules.

Forced abortions are illegal in China, but Stone says Liu's case highlights the fact that the rules are often enforced at the whim of the local Family Planning offices and the Communist Party officials who staff them. The local officials are reportedly given abortion quotas to meet if they want to see their careers advance.

Sky's request for comment on the story from China's central government went unanswered.

In July, a distraught man stabbed to death two officials at a Family Planning office in the southern Guangxi region. He confronted the officials after the office refused to issue his fourth child with a vital birth certificate-like document, because he couldn't afford to pay the fine.
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