City officials in Ankang, China, have apologized to Feng Jianmei, the woman who was forced to have an abortion in the seventh month of pregnancy and suspended three people responsible, state media reports.
This came after photos showing a foetus and the mother, Feng Jianmei, shocked web users.
Feng Jianmei was made to undergo the procedure in Shaanxi province in the seventh month of pregnancy, local officials said after investigating.
Chinese law clearly prohibits abortions beyond six months.
The Ankang city government said it decided to suspend three officials in Zhenping county following initial investigations. It also urged the county government to conduct a thorough review of its family planning operations, said Xinhua news.
On Thursday night, the city officials apologized to Feng Jianmei, 27, and her family, the report said.
She was ”forced to terminate her pregnancy” at a hospital in Zhenping on 2 June, said Xinhua.
Officials in Zhenping county claimed she agreed to the abortion because she was not allowed to have a second child by law. She already has a daughter, born in 2007.
But activists said she was forced into the abortion as she could not pay the fine for having a second child.
Rights groups say China’s one-child policy has meant women being coerced into abortions, which Beijing denies.
“Feng Jianmei’s story demonstrates how the One-Child Policy continues to sanction violence against women every day,” said Chai Ling of the US-based activist group All Girls Allowed.
The group says it spoke to Feng Jianmei and her husband Deng Jiyuan after the incident.
Deng Jiyuan said his wife had been forcibly taken to hospital and restrained before the procedure.
Media reports from China say Feng Jianmei has been traumatized by what has happened.
The photos sparked outrage among Internet users.
“This is what they say the Japanese devils and Nazis did. But it’s happening in reality and it is by no means the only case… They [the officials] should be executed,” one reader on news website netease.com said, according to the AFP news agency.