- (Photo: Reuters/File)
A family is demanding compensation from the Chinese government, claiming their relative is suffering from a mental disorder caused by the forced abortion of her seven-month-old baby.
Wu Yongyuan, husband of Gong Qifeng, claims that his wife now suffers from schizophrenia after she was forcibly taken to the hospital by the Lianyuan family planning service, located in central China's Hunan Province, in November 2011, and forced to have an abortion. Qifeng was allegedly in violation of China's One Child Policy, as she was seven months pregnant with her second child at the time of the forced procedure. She and her husband are both natives of Anping Town in Lianyuan.
Wu has told multiple media agencies in China that one day in November 2011 his wife disappeared, and he eventually found out that she was at the Lianyuan Hospital. Wu claims that authorities told him he had waited too long to pay the fine for having a second child, and the head nurse in obstetrics at the hospital reportedly told Wu that his wife had been forcible taken to the facility.
Additionally, Wu claims that a family planning official, Xiao Xiaochao, signed Gong's consent form for her, and none of Gong's family were present at the hospital, contrary to the claims of the family planning officials, three of whom escorted her to the hospital. Gong was then injected with a chemical solution to induce labor, and her fetus was stillborn 30 hours later and taken from the family.
Wu now reports that in June 2013 Gong was officially diagnosed with schizophrenia at the Shaoyang Brain Hospital, and has behaved violently since her forced abortion. She reportedly expresses fear and suspicion of anyone in an authority position, and routinely takes prescription pills. Additionally, she has acted differently towards the couple's surviving son, feeding him unsafe food and dressing him "strangely."
"She used to be so gentle that she'd never quarreled with me since we got married," Wu said of his wife's behavior before the abortion, according to China.org.
The Chinese government has denied any "causal relationship" between Gong's mental illness and her traumatizing abortion procedure. Although the Chinese government has reportedly sought to provide subsidies to the family, as is usual in cases of forced abortion, Wu is seeking compensation instead, hoping to bring justice to his wife and his family.
Chinese media has also brought attention to the plight of Gong and her family, with The Beijing News writing: "A mother who was forced to have an abortion has lost her sanity, and the local government and officials are as indifferent as ever. When will they be capable of realizing the crimes that they themselves are implicated in?"
China recently announced that it may be altering its controversial One Child Policy, with Mao Qun'an, spokesman for the National Health and Family Planning Commission, saying in a statement that the policy may be changed to allow two children, instead of one, per family.
Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women's Rights Without Frontiers, told The Christian Post that she remains skeptical of this supposed change, saying that the Asian country is "certainly not ditching the One Child Policy."
"Even if this proposal were to be adopted, this would be far from a wholesale abandonment of the Policy," Littlejohn told CP, adding that even if a two-child policy was implemented, there would be no guarantee that the Chinese Communist Party would cease forced abortions.
In January, the chair of the country's Family Planning Commission reasserted the importance of the One Child Policy in maintaining population control, saying the country must "unwaveringly adhere to the One Child Policy as a national policy to stabilize the low birth rate as the primary task."
This past year, there have been multiple reports of forced abortion taking place in China. In March, CP reported on the forced abortion of a 7-month-old boy in the Anhui Province. A similar case took place in June 2012, when Feng Jiammei of the Shaanxi province was beaten by birth control officials and also forced to abort her seven-month old baby girl.