A Chinese woman has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and has described herself as a "walking corpse" two years following a forced abortion, highlighting the dangers of the country's one-child policy rule, according to a pro-life group.
"It was the pain of my lifetime, worse than the pain of delivering a child. You cannot describe it," 25-year-old Gong Qifeng said in a recent interview, according to The Associated Press. "And it has become a mental pain. I feel like a walking corpse."
According to the report, two years ago when Gong was seven months pregnant with her second child in China's southern province of Hunan, and was in violation of the country's family size policy, she was taken by government officials who held her down and injected a syringe of labor-inducing drugs into her stomach.
Forced abortions after five months are supposed to be illegal, AP notes, but are sometimes still carried out, like in Gong's case, and no one is held accountable.
Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women's Rights Without Frontiers and who has often campaigned against China's one-child policy rule, pointed out that often women in China who are forced to have an abortion because of an illegal pregnancy are not compensated. She suggested, however, that because of international pressure, Gong and her husband "may get some help from local officials."
"The Chinese Communist Party boasts that it has prevented 400 million lives through the One Child Policy," Littlejohn wrote.
"We will never know how many of these were late term forced abortions, where the women were not compensated in any way."
A number of reports in the past year have highlighted announcements made by communist officials who have said they are changing the controversial one-child policy and allowing families in which one parent is an only child to have two children.
"Until now, the growth of the Chinese economy has been propelled by a demographic surplus, and that has been turning into a demographic deficit," Steve Tsang, a professor of Chinese studies at the University of Nottingham, told The Guardian in November regarding the policy change. He added that he hopes the change leads to "a significant reduction in the abuse of human rights, in terms of forced termination."
Littlejohn and others have said, however, that this development will not sufficiently change things for the better for Chinese women and families.
"The system has not changed at all. It still forbids you from having more children than permitted by the government, so the game – and forced later-term abortions – are unavoidable if you want to have children the government does not allow," commented Chinese demographer Liang Zhongtang at Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences in the AP article.
Littlejohn said that "even those families who can now have a second child will need government permission to get pregnant. If they get pregnant without a permit, they may still be subject to forced abortion."
The Women's Rights Without Frontiers president added that she expects to see forced abortions and sterilizations in China in 2014 and beyond.
"This violence must stop. We will continue our efforts until all coercive family planning in China has ended," Littlejohn stated.