A graphic photograph of a young Chinese woman lying beside her aborted seven-month-old foetus has sparked debate
The debate over family planning laws in China have been reignited over a photograph of a woman forced to terminate her baby for breaking birth control rules.
Authorities are investigating claims that Feng Jianmei was forced to terminate her seven-month-old foetus because she and her husband, Deng Jiyuan, could not afford the 40,000 yuan (around £4,000) fine.
Although forced abortions and sterilisation are illegal in China, experts say the pressure on officials to meet the strict birth control targets is fuelling forced terminations.
The picture of the 22 year-old lying next to her aborted baby sparked debate when it circulated on Chinese websites and microblogs.
Deng Jiyan says his wife would never have agreed to the procedure. ‘Several people pushed her into a car and then drover her to the hospital. They forced her to put her fingertip from her left hand on a document.’
Today, city officials say a deputy mayor visited the couple in hospital to apologise and inform them that those responsible will be suspended.
‘We’re trying to get the whole story,’ says a media officer from the National Population and Family Planning Commission. ‘If it’s true local family planning authorities will surely be punished severely.’