Images of a woman forced to undergo a late-term abortion in Ankang Shaanxi Province in China have been circulating widely in Chinese social media and micro-blogging platforms triggering furious reactions. The photo shows a woman lying in bed with a 7-month old stillborn baby [Warning: graphic image]. Government authorities have apparently chosen not to censor the news. Instead the hashtag “7 month pregnancy forced to abort” is currently listed in the top 10 news item on the socia media site Sina Weibo.
In the 1980s China introduced a one-child policy that restricts many couples from having more than one child with several exceptions for rural couples, people without siblings, and others. The policy is enforced at the provincial level through fines. According to an article on Radio Free Asia from June 12, 2012, the mother, Feng Jiame, accuses officials of a local family planning bureau of forcing her to undergo an abortion because she failed to pay a RMB 40,000 (about $6,000 USD) fine on time.
Even though Shaanxi officials are now under investigation and the state-run media have stressed that late-term abortions are illegal in China and should not be tolerated, netizens are venting much anger, and say that such inhumane tactics are common in spite of laws.
These are some comments from Weibo: