(CNSNews.com) – For a third time in a month, news of a forced abortion under China’s controversial one-child policy has become public, making headlines in Chinese media in what activists say appears to signal growing attention following the Chen Guangcheng episode.
According to a report in China’s Southern Metropolis Daily, Hu Xia, who was almost eight months pregnant, was forced to undergo an abortion after being unable to pay a fine levied for having a second child.
“On June 19, Hu Xia, of Zhengjiamen village, Shangche township, Jianli county, Hubei province, was forcibly brought by county government officials to People’s Hospital, given an injection to induce a miscarriage, and two days later, she delivered her nearly eight-month dead baby [girl],” it said.
The report went on to say that a local government official insisted that the abortion was “voluntary” and that “no forceful measures were used the entire time,” according to a translation provided by ChinaAid, a Texas based human rights organization.
“We are shocked again,” ChinaAid news analyst Mark Shan told CNSNews.com. “Since the end of April, after the news broke out about blind activist Chen Guangcheng, [there has been] more and more attention of the forced abortion issue in China.
Shan called the 30 year-old one-child policy “the worst policy ever made on earth, which targets against women and babies.”
“This month, I think this is the third report about forced abortions of near-term babies,” he said. “This time is unique because this case is reported by a famous Chinese newspaper inside China. You can see this policy is not only condemned overseas but also inside China.”
Asked whether the cover-up of a forced abortion by the local government was a normal occurrence, Shan said the local officials concerned were likely pressured to provide an explanation as a result of the media coverage.
Chen Guangcheng, a self-taught lawyer and activist, in 2006 drew attention to hundreds of cases of coerced sterilization and abortion in just his local area in Shandong province. He was jailed for four years on charges he and supporters believe were trumped up to punish him for the expose.
Last April Chen fled house arrest and years of harassment, sought refuge at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and was eventually allowed to go to the U.S.
Early this month, CNSNews.com reported that Cao Ruyi of Hunan province was given a choice of paying approximately $24,000 to keep the child she was carrying – her second – or abort the baby.
Cao’s husband Li Fu was also beaten by Chinese officials, who allegedly threatened to kill him if Cao didn’t have the abortion.
According to ChinaAid, Cao was in the end “able to keep her child after local officials were faced with unwanted media attention.”
In another case, 23 year-old Feng Jianmei was forced to undergo an abortion at seven months in Shaanxi province in early June. Reports on her ordeal, accompanied by gruesome photos showing her aborted baby daughter on the hospital bed alongside her, sparked heated debates on Chinese social media sites.
Referring to the latest case, ChinaAid president Bob Fu said, “Another life was lost unnecessarily to advance China’s one-child policy, which cannot be sustained without violence and coercion.”
“International attention can help save some women from violence in the short-term, but consistent international condemnation is needed to help convince Beijing that this policy makes a rising China look barbaric and backward,” he said.