(CNSNews.com) -- After a Hunan Province couple refused to “voluntarily abort” their five-month-old unborn child on June 6, Communist Chinese officials demanded the couple pay a fine equivalent to $24,000 or undergo a government-forced abortion.
Cao Ruyi was at her home when more than a dozen Chinese family planning officials entered last week and forced her to go to Changsha County Maternal and Child Health Hospital, according to a June 7 news release from All Girls Allowed.
Cao’s husband, Li Fu, who was working during the time Cao was dragged to the hospital, was beaten by planning officials and told that if he and his wife did not consent to a “voluntary” abortion, “Cao would be forced to abort the baby,” Lewis said.
The couple has been accused of violating Communist China’s one-child policy because Cao already has a six-year-old daughter. Bob Fu, president of the human rights organization China Aid Association (CHINAaid), said Cao has two choices before June 16: obtain a forced abortion without a fee or keep the baby by paying a “social burden compensation fee,” which is the equivalent to nearly $24,000 (about 150,000 yuan).
She can pay the government the money or have her child forcibly aborted. “If she [Cao] refuses to pay, she will face the forced abortion penalty. Usually … that has happened to these women if they refuse to pay,” Fu told CNSNews.com.
Fu said the government regulation requires 2,000-10,000 yuan, with 2,000 yuan being the minimum deposit and 10,000 yuan being the maximum deposit for the social burden fee. Chinese officials have been unclear so far as to how the remaining balance should be paid, according to Fu, who has been in regular contact with Cao.
“I think the family planning officials were very angry over the international pressure and media exposure, so this couple was being forced for the next month’s deposit, 10,000 yuan,” he said.
“They should not [have to] pay that,” Fu said. “This is not right. This is the first baby for this couple, not in violation of the family planning.”
Li is not the biological father of Cao’s first child.
Fu further said: “It’s a part of the scheme. You know, money scheme, depending on how you count. These family planning officials…they just use the baby as a hostage to collect money. That family planning official said, according to their interpretation of the law, that counted this pregnancy, [it] counted as an illegal pregnancy for the second baby, no matter whose [the baby is]. That’s their way of counting. So you can tell that’s [the government] try[ing] to make more money.”
Fu said private donors to CHINAaid have already made donations of $1,300 (9,000 yuan), about $200 short of the 10,000 yuan maximum deposit ($1500).
U.S. officials are looking into the case while voicing opposition to China’s birth limitation policies.
The U.S. State Department told CNSNews.com on Monday, “We’re going to get into contact with the Chinese authorities to see what are the details surrounding this case and go from there.”
CNSNews.com sent telephone and email inquiries to the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C., and to Chinese Embassy consulate offices in Washington, New York, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. At the time of this story’s publication, no answers had been provided.
During Monday’s press briefing, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said, “We’ve seen these reports that a Chinese woman is being detained and possibly pressured into a forced abortion by Chinese family planning authorities after purportedly violating China’s one-child policy. We are concerned by these reports. We have reached out to the Chinese authorities in Beijing to ask about this issue.” (See video at 25:25 in.)
“I think you know that we make no secret that the United States strongly opposes all aspects of China’s coercive birth limitation policies, including forced abortion and sterilization, and we always raise these issues with the Chinese Government,” said Nuland.
Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called the assistant secretary of the State Department, who then called for the U.S. Embassy in China to intervene, according to Fu.
“He [Smith] was promised to have follow-up and the State Department promised to call the U.S. Embassy and for the embassy to intervene,” Fu told CNSNews.com.
“This case demonstrates the brutality of the One Child Policy and its impact on Chinese women, their children and families. So-called ‘family planning’ government officials use ruinous fines and penalties to force or coerce abortions and sterilizations, and especially target unwed pregnant mothers. It is clearly a flagrant human rights abuse,” said Jeff Sagnip, public policy director for Rep. Smith.
Chai Ling, president of All Girls Allowed, in a June 7 press release called upon Chinese family planning officials to release Cao: “Last year, President Hu Jinttao told a member of the US Congress that forced abortions do not happen in China. If you abort Cao Ruyi’s baby against her will, you will both violate her rights and ignore the words of President Hu. Please respect Cao Ruyi’s dignity as a fellow citizen and expectant mother.”