First hand account of a forced abortion in China

In a hearing on forced abortion in China, a woman told this story:

Statement of Ms. Ji Yequig:

“In June 2003, I discovered that I was pregnant again after a checkup at the only gynecologist clinic nearby, the Jiading District Women and Children’s Clinic. Both my husband and I were very happy. However, the clinic was in close cooperation with the Family Planning Commission of Xiaomiao Village, Jiading District of Shanghai, and reported my pregnancy. The day after my checkup at the clinic Li Chunping of the Family Planning Commission and 3 other agents came to our home and told me that, according to China’s one child policy, we could not have a 2nd child. I was pregnant again. I had no choice but to undergo an abortion; otherwise, we would be sabotaging the family planning policy and breaking the law. Not only would we be fined 200,000 yuan, equivalent to $31,300, which was more than 3 times our combined annual income, but also, we would be fired from our jobs. We were very afraid at the time of losing our jobs. We could never acquire enough money to pay the exorbitant fines.

Li then brought me to the same clinic to force an abortion. After that operation, they made me promise that I would have the IUD put in. I told him I would do it after my body recovered. Only then did they release me.

But I never did get the IUD implemented because I was still very hesitant about the IUD procedure. I had heard it was very painful, and it could produce serious physical complications. So I continued taking contraceptive pills. My in-laws insisted that we try for another pregnancy. They also promised to give us money to pay for the fines. They wanted a grandson [her first child was a girl], even if it would cost 200,000 yuan.

My husband persuaded me to stop taking the pills in February 2006. I was pregnant again in September of the same year. We were determined to have another child and prepared for the fines. After my checkup at the hospital, like the previous time, the Family Planning Commission learned of it the very next day. We had known of the close cooperation between the clinic and the local birth planning agencies, so we expected this. But there was only one licensed hospital in the area, so we had no choice but to go there for checkups. Two days after my visit to the hospital, Li Chunping and five other agents came to our home to ask why I had not had the IUD inserted and why I had decided to get pregnant again. I told them that I wanted another child and we were prepared to pay the fines. Li stated that Chinese law decreed that the second child was forbidden. Even if it was born, the child could not be registered and would not be able to attend school. More than the fine, we would be fired from our jobs with a child that would never be registered by the census. We were willing to take the punishment of fines of losing our jobs. It wasn’t as important to us as our child.

Li then ordered the other agents to bring me to the hospital for an abortion. They surrounded us. Li and two others grabbed me by the arm and dragged me outside. Two others stopped my husband Liu Bin from rescuing me and beat him. I begged them to spare us. We only wanted another baby and never wanted to do anything evil. Why did they keep such close watch over us? I also said we were willing and prepared to pay the fines. I kept begging them in tears, but it was no use. Then I threatened to take legal action, but Li replied that my pregnancy with a second child was illegal, so reporting the case to court would be useless. I couldn’t free myself, although I struggled all the way. They dragged me down from the fourth floor into a waiting car, drove into the Jiading Women and Children’s Clinic, and pulled me directly into the operating room. They held me down and abetted sedated me. The abortion was performed while I was unconscious. When I came to, I was already in the recovery room outside the operating room. Doctors told me they had installed the IUD immediately after the abortion, and that I was responsible for the cost of the IUD procedure. So the intrauterine device was installed in me against my will while I was lying unconscious, completely unaware. After the abortion, I felt empty, as if something was scooped out of me. My husband and I had been so excited for a new baby. Now, suddenly, all that hope and joy and excitement had disappeared, all in an instant. I was very depressed and despondent for a long time. Whenever I thought about my lost child, I would cry.”

The abortion, and Ji Yeqing’s physical and emotional difficulties afterwards, lead to the breakup of her marriage in 2008. She now is remarried and lives in the United States, but doctors told her she would never have children because of the damage caused by her forced abortion.

Hearing before the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives, 112th Congress, First Session. September 22, 2011

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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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