Chinese woman forced abortions on women pregnant “illegally”

On Nightline, a Chinese woman who enforced the one child policy was interviewed. She helped round up women who were pregnant and forced them to have abortions. The interview:

BRIAN ROSS, ABC NEWS (VO) By her own admission, this woman has been one of the most feared and hated people in the small town in China where she lives.

KIAO DUAN GAO Sometimes they’d see me when they were captured and they would curse me or they’d try to hit me with sticks.

BRIAN ROSS (VO) Her name is Kiao Duan Gao and for the last 14 years, Mrs Gao has been the local official in the Yonghe township on the South China coast in charge of enforcing China’s one child birth policy.


KIAO DUAN GAO: I saw some women that were nine months pregnant put on the operating table and forced to have abortions….If the doctor does it correctly, the injection will be done through the mother’s stomach right into the child’s brain and the child will die at that time. Or if the doctor misses a little bit, then the child can still be alive when he comes out of his mother’s womb and as soon as the child cries, the doctor will give it another injection and the child will die.

BRIAN ROSS In front of the mother?

KIAO DUAN GAO Usually. Sometimes mothers ask them please let me have the child and the doctors will say oh no, can’t do anything about it. And they’ll just let it die.

BRIAN ROSS Have you been present for such a procedure?

KIAO DUAN GAO Yes. Sometimes I’ve been there. Sometimes when I’ve sent them up there I’ve been in the room with them. I feel so sorry for them and it feels so cruel and if I could help them, I would.

BRIAN ROSS But you’re the person who signed the order, right?

KIAO DUAN GAO Yes, I’m ordered from above.


KIAO DUAN GAO This is the permit to have children. After people are married, they apply to have permission to have the children and if they get pregnant without permission then we have to force them to have an abortion and if they’re not willing to, if they run away or, we capture their parents or something else. We force them to do it.

BRIAN ROSS (VO) On the first floor, jail cells, a birth control jail for women who, Mrs Gao says, refuse to be sterilized or who become pregnant without her approval. Relatives who help to hide such women also end up here, she says.

KIAO DUAN GAO The people that are captured are locked up in there. There’s one for locking up men and one for locking up women.

BRIAN ROSS And how long would people be locked up?

KIAO DUAN GAO Oh, sometimes they’re locked up for five or six months. Some have even been locked up for eight months.

BRIAN ROSS (VO) The tape shows what Mrs Gao calls the sterilization doctor and the abortion room for abortions in the first trimester. Abortions for women in the final months of their pregnancy, up to and including nine months, are done at a hospital because of the serious nature of that procedure.

KIAO DUAN GAO It doesn’t matter how old the child is, if it is outside the family planning then it has to be aborted.

BRIAN ROSS And how many times did this happen over the course of the 14 years you ran the planned birth center?

KIAO DUAN GAO Hundreds of times.

BRIAN ROSS (VO) Mrs Gao says in the last few years she has secretly been trying to help some of the young women she has put through hell, including this young woman, who was unmarried, 19 years old and nine months pregnant with an unauthorized child when an informer turned her in and a squad of men was sent to the family home.

KIAO DUAN GAO The work group went over there and told her to come out and she was not willing to. She was hiding inside of her mother’s house. They were threatening to demolish the house.

BRIAN ROSS (VO) According to Mrs Gao, her men then smashed and nearly destroyed the house, seen in this photo, what Mrs Gao says is a common practice when someone refuses to cooperate with the birth control forces.

KIAO DUAN GAO She was about to have the baby. She wasn’t willing to come out.

BRIAN ROSS She was screaming?

KIAO DUAN GAO Oh yeah. She was crying. She was crying.

BRIAN ROSS And then she was forcibly taken to have an abortion?

KIAO DUAN GAO Yes. They took her over to have the abortion and she gave birth to a baby boy and the mother just cried and cried.

BRIAN ROSS What happened to the boy, the little baby?

KIAO DUAN GAO There’s nothing they could do. It just, he came out and he died.

BRIAN ROSS (VO) According to Mrs Gao, the woman’s child had been injected in the head with some kind of solution and died shortly after being born. (interviewing) Do you regret what you did?

KIAO DUAN GAO Of course. Many times when I went back home I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t sleep well.

Nightline Tuesday, June 9, 1998

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Author: Sarah

Sarah Terzo is a writer for Live Action and a member of the board of The Pro-life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians and Consistent Life. She lives in NJ.

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