Last week, a sad story came from China – a story that the Chinese government didn’t want the rest of the world to hear. But it is a story the world needs to hear. It is a story of an attempted forced abortion.
Cao Ruyi has just four months left of her pregnancy, but there is one big obstacle – she already has a child. For most of the world, this wouldn’t be a complication, but for those in China, it can mean life or death to the unborn child.
According to All Girls Allowed, an organization that speaks out against China’s One Child Policy, Cao was forcibly brought to the hospital by over a dozen family planning officials. There at the hospital, she was a prisoner in her room, with two guards making sure she stayed confined and others in a van outside the hospital as a precautionary measure.
Human rights organization ChinaAid reported that Cao was released from the hospital Sunday, but the battle is far from over. She had to agree to pay a “pregnancy termination deposit fee” of 10,000 yuan (almost US $1,500) that will be refunded if she has an abortion. If she doesn’t have the abortion, that money will go towards the “social burden compensation fee” of US $25,000.
U.S. Congressman Chris Smith wrote a letter to several members of the Family Planning Committee in which he stated:
We were shocked to learn that a lady called Cao Ruyi who was already pregnant for five months was taken by force by officials of neighborhood family planning office and other employees to Hunan Provincial Maternal and Child Care Service Center where they tried to force her to have an abortion or an induced labor. During the process, Cao the lady and her husband were kicked, punched and were brutally treated… We fully feel the seriousness and urgency of this incident.
People all over the world are opposed to the compulsory family planning policy of the Chinese government that has been in force for many years. The implementation of this policy not only violates people’s basic human rights—the right to bear children and the right to dignity, it has actually also harmed the health of the body and the mind of tens and thousands of women. It is our belief that all lives are created by God and they have the natural rights that cannot be deprived. We have noted that the policy of reform and opening-up has brought tremendous changes to China and the world also welcomes an increasingly powerful nation into the international community to make its due contribution to the progress of humanity.
For Cao, there was international recognition, and there is hope as organizations in the United States raise money to help her and her husband keep their child. But I wonder how many other women in China have faced the same circumstances even this month. Their stories may go untold, but their pain is very real.