The husband of Feng Jianmei, the Chinese woman forced to have a late-term abortion, has gone into hiding and her family are being harassed, a relative has said.
Feng Jianmei was made to terminate her pregnancy at seven months as she could not pay the fine for violating China’s one-child policy.
Photos showing her with the foetus caused widespread condemnation when they were leaked on the web.
Officials apologized, but the couple is now apparently being hounded.
A relative of Feng Jianmei told reporters that the family had been harassed since leaving hospital, possibly with the tacit encouragement of local government officials who have been embarrassed by the scandal.
Feng Jianmei and her husband are being hounded since leaving hospital
She said Feng Jianmei’s husband Deng Jiyuan had gone into hiding on Sunday.
Pictures circulating on the internet appear to show a large red banner saying “beat the traitors, drive them from the town” strung up in the family’s town in Shaanxi province.
“On Sunday evening, we decided to go home [from hospital] and a lot of people had gathered outside,” the relative, who wished to remain anonymous, said.
“They hung banners on a bridge and many people came and shouted that we were traitors. Now wherever we go, people follow us.”
China’s one-child family planning policy aims to control the country’s population, which now stands at around 1.3 billion.
Rights groups say the law 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.
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.
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
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.
Grisly photos of Chinese young woman Feng Jianmei as she was lying beside her baby which had been aborted by force in her seventh month of pregnancy have caused outrage in China.
Pictures purporting to show Feng Jianmei and her blood-covered baby have shocked anti-abortion groups in China – and fury is spreading around the world.
The mother told local media that she was forceably injected with a chemical to induce an abortion and her child was stillborn 36 hours later.
Because Feng Jianmei already had a child, she said, local birth-control authorities ordered her to pay a fine of $6,500.
She didn’t have the money, she said, so a team from the local family planning authority in Shannxi province came to collect her from her home and take her to hospital for the forced abortion.
Recounting the horror, Feng Jianmei said she told the family planning department she could not pay the fine because her mother-in-law needed money for cancer treatment.
It was then, she claimed, the authorities began their action against her.
Because Feng Jianmei already had a child, she said, local birth-control authorities ordered her to pay a fine of $6,500
Feng Jianmei said no less than 20 staff from the family planning department came to her home and placed her under arrest.
As they drove her to the hospital for a forced abortion, she began to resist – resulting in her being beaten.
At the hospital she was restrained and given an injection that would be lethal to the foetus. None of her family was allowed to be present during the traumatic time, she said.
Feng Jianmei said that her father-in-law heard about her being taken away but when he rushed to the hospital he was prevented from entering the obstetrics ward.
As outrage spread around anti-abortion groups in China, the authorities strenuously denied Feng Jianmei’s version of the events.
Li Yuongjou, deputy chief of Ankang’s family department, said the reality was that “Feng was not forced to abort”.
He said: “A lot of us tried for days to educate her. She agreed to the abortion herself.”
Li Yuongjou added that in China an abortion is allowed up to 28 weeks, saying: “It’s not illegal to conduct <<medium term>> induction of labor.”
And he admitted, however, that in his town the local target of enforcing the one-child policy had not been achieved for two consecutive years and the authorities were acting more strenuously to see that the target covering 95% of the population was reached.
Local media said it was most likely that Feng Jianmei had been injected with a chemical commonly known as Lifannuo – a powerful bactericide used in the late 1980s and early 1990s when China’s one-child policy was strongly pursued by authorities.
It is not known how Feng Jianmei managed to obtain photos of herself beside the aborted child, but anti-abortion groups said they were convinced the pictures were genuine.