Chinese woman compensated for late abortion

July 11, 2012 7:56 am
A woman pushes a baby boy riding in a pram along a Beijing street/AFP

, Beijing, Jul 11 – Chinese authorities have paid $11,000 to a woman forced to abort seven months into her pregnancy, her lawyer said Wednesday, adding that the money would never compensate for her endless pain.

The case caused global outrage after photos of the mother with the bloody fetus circulated online last month, though activists say forced abortions occur regularly in China to enforce a one-child population control policy.

Zhang Kai, the lawyer for the woman and her husband, said the couple had agreed to a compensation settlement from local authorities for 70,000 yuan ($11,000).

But he said the sum could not make up for the lifetime of “spiritual pain” that the family would endure.

“Their child, at such a young age, was basically killed. If you pay such little money, it’s not enough,” he said.

The state-run Xinhua news agency also reported on the compensation paid to Feng Jianmei, and her husband, Deng Jiyuan, indicating the money was meant to end any further complaints from the couple.

“The signing of the agreement means neither party should raise any question related to the issue again,” Xinhua quoted an unnamed official as saying.

Feng was required to have an abortion after failing to pay a 40,000 yuan fine for violating China’s one-child laws, which are aimed at controlling a population of 1.3 billion people, the world’s largest.

Under the policy, urban families are generally required to have only one child, while rural families may have a second if the first is a girl. Those who contravene the rules must pay a fine.

However abortions after six months of pregnancy are banned.

After the Feng case caused an outcry, two local officials involved in forcing her to have the abortion were sacked and five others received more minor punishments.

But Zheng, the lawyer, and many Chinese netizens who followed the case deemed those punishments as far too soft.

Adding to her misery, relatives said dozens of people harassed Feng as she was recovering in hospital, hanging banners outside describing her as a traitor, in what was widely seen as an effort to stop her publicising the case.


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