Officials suspended after forced late-term abortion

PUBLISHED : Friday, 15 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 15 June, 2012, 12:00am


Three officials in Shaanxi's Zhenping county have been suspended from duty after a forced late term abortion case sparked a national outcry.

Ankang city government, which presides over Zhenping, announced yesterday that county family planning chief Jiang Nenghai, Zengjia township chief Chen Pingyin and Zengjia family chief Ren Longchun would be suspended during the probe. They may face legal charges or administrative penalties. Zhenping administers Zengjia.

In a statement issued online, the Ankang government also apologised to Feng Jianmei , the mother, for the serious suffering caused.

Earlier yesterday, the provincial government issued a statement saying the gruesome details released online about how Feng was abducted for three days and given an injection that killed her seven-month fetus were true and called it a serious violation of government regulations.

Details of the mother's ordeal after the parents failed to pay a 40,000 yuan (HK$49,000) fine for having more than one child, plus photos of the dead baby, have appalled the country.

In his online comments, the father, Deng Jiyuan, said officials had forced his 22-year-old wife into a car and driven her to hospital, where she was given an injection that induced labour and killed the baby.

Yesterday's government statement said the abortion was a 'serious violation' of family-planning regulations and had an 'extremely bad influence on society'. It also vowed to stop late-term abortions.

Deng, from Zengjia, told the South China Morning Post he was planning to file a lawsuit against the local family planning authorities.

'My wife is still being treated in hospital,' he said. 'She cries a lot and doesn't speak much.'

Pictures posted by Feng's sister-in-law after the forced abortion on June 2 show the bloody body of the baby next to the mother.

Deng said a deputy county chief in charge of family planning visited them yesterday afternoon and told them they would be allowed a second child, but Deng does not consider this a favour by officials.

'We shouldn't be told by the government whether we can have a child,' he said. The couple have a five-year-old daughter.

A statement on Monday by the Zhenping government claimed Feng had agreed to the procedure. But Deng said his wife was forced, and her signature forged.