A Chinese woman who is eight-months pregnant is reportedly being threatened by the Communist government that if she doesn't abort her baby, she and her husband will lose their government jobs.
Women's Rights Without Frontiers, a human rights group speaking out against coercive population control in China, has slammed the "human tragedy and appalling injustice" of the case.
The original story was reported by Shanghai online news portal Sixth Tone, which features an interview with the couple, surnamed Zhong, who both have a child from a previous marriage. The couple believed they could still have a child together under the new Two-Child policy, but the laws in the province of Guangdong turned out to be different from what they were expecting.
"I can't give up on this child, as I'm almost 40," the mother said. "And it wouldn't be easy for us to find jobs again, given our ages."
An anonymous staff member at the petition office of the Guangdong Provincial Health and Family Planning Commission revealed that new regulations regarding remarried couples in the province could take up to two to three months to process, which is longer than the due date for Zhong's child on Sept. 10.
"But I cannot comment on whether the final rule will be in favor of or against those remarried families who want to have one or two more children," the staff member said.
Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women's Rights Without Frontiers, said the much-talked about Two-Child policy change in China is not all that different from the One-Child policy.
"I immediately stated that this minor modification would not end coercion, and now the proof is beginning to leak out. Our hearts go out to the Zhong family. They are brave indeed to stand up to the intense government pressure to abort at eight months or both lose their jobs," Littlejohn said in a statement.
"The Chinese government is doing its best to force them to have an abortion by exerting intense financial pressure," she added, noting that fines for illegal children could run as high as $39,000, which is a crippling sum for average families there.
Littlejohn argued that the Communist Party refuses to "get out of the bedrooms of the Chinese people."
"The fact that Sixth Tone is a State-controlled media outlet indicates that even within the Chinese Communist Party there are those who recognize the human tragedy and appalling injustice of coercive population control," she added.
"We need to keep the international pressure on the Chinese Communist Party until all coercive population control is eradicated. Take action by signing our petition against forced abortion in China."
Littlejohn has campaigned for years against China's policies, and in a letter to President Xi Jinping wrote: "It is China's war on women. Any discussion of women's rights, or human rights, would be a charade if forced abortion in China is not front and center. It does not matter whether you are pro-life or pro-choice on this issue. No one supports forced abortion, because it is not a choice."
Chinese women have had to undergo forced abortions at the hands of the government, leading in certain cases to mental disorders such as schizophrenia, an August 2013 report said.