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China Ups One-Child Forced-Abortion Policy Enforcement, Abuses Continue

Beijing, China ( — Chinese officials are not only planning to continue the one-child family planning policy that has resulted in forced abortions and sterilizations but continuing abuses under it. The latest reports indicate Chinese women who become pregnant a second time continue to face human rights abuses from family planning officials.

As authorities work to keep the nation’s population growth under control, civil rights activists in various parts of the Asian country report abuses continue. 

In a press release on Thursday, Radio Free Asia says it has learned of the case of a woman in Zhubao township in the eastern province of Shandong who was detained and beaten to force her pregnant sister to come out of hiding.

“After they took her away they were asking her questions about our other sister [the pregnant woman],” a younger sister told the news service. 

“When she said she didn’t know, they beat her up. We heard from inside sources that the beatings were very severe. We also heard that they beat one woman to death a few years ago, so we are all very worried about her," the woman told RFA.

Now, the entire family is planning to go into hiding to avoid further persecution from family planning officials. 

The woman lives near the city of Linyi where blind attorney Chen Guangcheng told the world of more than 10,000 women who were forced to have abortions and sterilizations. Chen was arrested on false charges and given a three-year prison term to keep him from filing a class action lawsuit on their behalf.

RFA also interviewed Chen’s wife Yuan Weijing, who is under constant surveillance herself. She described how the problems continue and said family planning authorities slowed the number of abuses but are picking up the pace again. 

“It is just the same as it always was here. If you are pregnant without permission, it doesn’t matter how many months gone you are—they will keep an eye on the pregnancy and then they will arrest you and drag you off for an abortion,” she said.

“If you run away, they will detain a member of your family and smash up your home. People here are terribly fearful these days,” she told RFA. 

“I really couldn’t tell you the real reason for this. To be honest with you, things got a whole lot more relaxed in 2005 after Chen Guangcheng exposed these practices, and pretty much nobody was getting beaten up at that time. The really nasty practices lingered on in some places, however. But this year it has all started up again.”

Last month, some mainstream media outlets wrongly reported the nation had scrapped its policy only to see the Beijing News report that the National Population and Family Planning Commission’s publicity and education department told it that the original news reports were erroneous. 

"China will continue to pursue even better its population and family planning policy," the report said.

The "reversal" was not a surprise to Anthony Ozimic, the political secretary for the British-based Society for the Protection of Unborn Children. 

He told shortly after the initial news stories that he doubted their veracity.

"Western media outlets are disseminating misinformation by the Chinese Communist regime allegedly implying that China might scrap or significantly relax its one-child, forced-abortion population control policy," he said. 

He blamed Reuters and the London Guardian for reporting the decision was a certainty, even though "nothing in the minister’s comments suggests such a move."

Ozimic told he thinks the whole incident was nothing more than Chinese officials trying to obfuscate the truth about the country’s human rights record in advance of the 2008 Summer Olympics.