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China Trying to Force 6-Months’ Pregnant Woman to Abort

China Trying to Force 6-Months’ Pregnant Woman to Abort

Tim Johnson / McClatchy Newspapers

November 15, 2008

BEIJING — A Muslim Uighur woman who is more than six months’ pregnant remained under watch in a hospital in China’s far northwest today awaiting a forced abortion by authorities who don’t want her to have a third child.

A nurse tending to the woman at the maternity ward of a hospital in Yining, near China’s border with Kazakhstan, said physicians had delayed performing the abortion because of international queries about her case.

China maintains a one-child-per-family rule on majority Han Chinese, with more flexible rules for ethnic minorities, to contain its massive population of 1.3 billion citizens. Those who violate the rule must pay large fines, although reports of zealous officials ordering forced abortions in rural and semi-rural areas are fairly common.

China says its population would have swelled far more if 400 million abortions had not been performed in the past three decades.

The case of Arzigul Tursun is raising attention because she is 26 weeks’ pregnant and supporters say an abortion could threaten her health. Her husband, who goes by the single name Nurmemet, said officials in their village near Yining learned of the pregnancy and warned the couple their house and property would be seized if Arzigul did not undergo an abortion.

Arzigul is at the Municipal Watergate Hospital in Yining in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region, which is populated heavily with Uighurs (pronounced WEE-gers), a Turkic-speaking Muslim minority. Militant Uighurs seeking independence from China have carried out a terror campaign that has intensified this year, and social tensions in the region are high.

U.S. Rep. Christopher Smith, a New Jersey Republican, wrote China’s ambassador to Washington, Zhou Wenzhong, on Thursday to demand that “the nightmare of a forced abortion” not be carried out.

“The Chinese Government is notorious for this barbaric practice, but to forcibly abort a woman while the world watches in full knowledge of what is going on would make a mockery of its claim that the central government disapproves of the practice,” Smith said in a statement.

Arzigul and her husband already have two girls at their home in Bulaq village. According to the Washington-based Uyghur Human Rights Project, Arzigul fled Bulaq when officials first urged her to have an abortion but returned after her family received threats of asset seizure.

“We considered our two girls,” Nurmemet said in a telephone interview. “If the house and properties were taken away, how would they live? So my wife came back home and went to the hospital.”

China’s family planning policy allows minorities, including Uighurs, to have more than one child. If minority couples are urban dwellers, they may have two children, while rural farmers may have three children. Many majority Han Chinese see those exceptions as unfair.

Arzigul holds a rural household registration but her husband is registered in an urban area, creating some legal confusion. Local officials eventually demanded that she terminate her pregnancy.

Nurmemet said the couple may still have until next Monday to appeal their case. Reached at her daughter’s hospital bedside, Arzigul’s mother, who doesn’t speak Mandarin, said through a Mandarin-speaking nurse that the family doesn’t agree with an abortion.

© YellowBrix Inc.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago


    I was looking a website from where I could buy a ovulation test kits and I found this site.I must say that this is not cool at all.I mean ok maybe the government should establish a program where they teach youn women not to get pregnant because the situation recquires that but forcing them to abort it is just not right.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 6 years ago


    this is rubbish! this world should not be so controlling we were put on this planet to breed! LET US BREED!!!

  • Bettyboop_max50


    about 6 years ago


    Babies at this stage of gestation are aborted everyday in our very own country, and no one cries foul, although as a nation we should be just as appalled by our own barbaracies as we are by those of the Chinese Gov't. Abortion at any stage of pregnancy is murder...plain and simple.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 6 years ago


    This is a practice that has been going on for years. Long before WWII and the horrors that Hitler committed , it was fairly common practice to sterilize people with disabilities "just in case". People shouldn't be forced to do anything. Certainly not abortion, but also not in forced sterilization. I hear what surfmom is saying, but imagine if we never had the choice.

  • Vacation_summer08___at_080_max50


    about 6 years ago


    I understand their population issue, but I do not understand forced abortion at any level. If they are so concerned about the women getting pregnant, why dont they tie there tubes? That sound wrong to me also, but I dont think I feel as bad hearing that they were forced to have their tubes tied vs. killing their unborn child. Women don't have any freedom or rights of any kind in China. This helps me remember how lucky we are.

  • 1122071358_c3_af_1__max50


    about 6 years ago


    WOW! Are you serious?!? How ridiculous! That baby could be a miracle for some family and has a life. It ahs a beating heart and can feel! Uhhh, this make s me sick!

  • Dsc01787_max50


    about 6 years ago


    someone from the US could adopt the baby. they should've contacted the angelina and brad pitt.

  • Lori_recruiter_extraordinare___max50


    about 6 years ago


    i am sitting here reading this in a state of shock! this pregnancy if delivered now would be a viable birth, although with some health problems quite possibly, i cant believe they are making this family MURDER their unborn child what century do the chinese think this is??!!!

  • Mickeymouseclubhouse_240_max50


    about 6 years ago


    I hope someone can intervene for this poor family.

  • Img_3976__3__max50


    about 6 years ago


    The definition of life certainly does differ from country to country.

  • Privat_024_max50


    about 6 years ago


    this is an unfortunate case I wish they could move away but that is probably not a possibility. And to threaten them with seizure of their property is really awful

  • Me_and_bran2_max50


    about 6 years ago


    This is Awful, I actually have tears in my eyes. Being a mother of 3, I can't even imagine!!

  • Dsc04173__2__max50


    about 6 years ago


    Barbaric is an understatement. While I have to give some credit to the Chinese people for regulating its popluation, this is just the WRONG way to do it! How terrrifying this must be. I can't imagine having to face making a decision like this. As much as I can complain (right alongside the stranger standing next to me on the street corner) about "injustices" here, I too am glad to be a citizen of the US.

  • J0423100_max50


    about 6 years ago


    This is barbaric and disgusting...I hope she gets out with her family. Including her unborn child.

  • 800px-smiley_svg_max50


    about 6 years ago


    Terrible, just terrible...

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