WASHINGTON (BP) — Feng Jianmei, whose daughter was forcibly aborted seven months into her pregnancy last June, has told a Chinese TV station of her continued struggle for emotional healing.
“Several local government officials lost their job and I got compensation [for the circumstances], but there is no real winner in this case,” Feng told Shanghai-based Dragon TV, according to a report by the pro-life organization All Girls Allowed, which is based in Boston.
“We lost the most,” Feng said in an interview with the satellite TV station. “We lost a baby.”
The story and photo of Feng and her forcibly aborted daughter went viral on the Internet after family planning officials in China’s Shaanxi province kidnapped, beat and forced her to undergo an abortion while her husband Deng Jiyuan was at work. She had no birth permit under China’s population control program known as the “one-child” policy.
Family planning authorities earlier had levied a fine and, when Feng’s family did not pay, they performed the abortion on her and placed her dead child’s body in bed with her. A Chinese dissident posted an account and a photo of the devastated mother and her dead daughter on the Internet, sparking global attention.
Feng, in the interview, said she moved to China’s Jiangsu province for medical treatment and emotional health.
She told Dragon TV (in Mandarin), “I thought that if I changed my living environment, my mood would get better. After I went to Jiangsu province, I felt much better. Before, when people recognized me, it always reminded me of the forced abortion…. I had a very uncomfortable feeling.
“I went to the hospital to get checked a few times,” Feng said. “When I went to Jiangsu, I also got checked several times. I underwent a small surgery over there. There are still some problems with my body. I’m still in the process of healing. I also take medicine every day.”
The local government initially said they would pay for hospital bills associated with her recovery from the forced abortion, but they have yet to follow through.
“They told me about a reimbursement at the beginning,” Feng said, “but they never mention that anymore.” Two surgeries she underwent cost nearly $1,700 in American dollars.
Feng said she hopes to return to Shaanxi province to be with her husband, who is forced to live hundreds of miles from his wife to pay for her medical expenses.
Brian Lee, executive director of All Girls Allowed, which largely focuses on China’s coercive abortion measures, said the Dragon TV report reiterates “how devastating the brutal enforcement of the one-child policy really is.”
“But there is hope,” Lee said in a written statement after Feng’s interview in February. “We have a God who is bigger than this tragic situation. We believe He will bring healing and justice to Ms. Feng and we pray that day comes soon.”
On March 14, the Chinese Health Ministry reported the following statistics for its family planning practices since 1971, according to the Financial Times:
— 336 million abortions performed.
— 196 sterilizations conducted.
— 403 million intrauterine devices inserted.
China first instituted limits on population growth in 1971 and established its “one-child” population control program in the late 1970s. The policy also has helped produce a gender imbalance because of the Chinese preference for sons.
China’s 336 million abortions surpass the current United States population of about 315 million. It also dwarfs the number of abortions reported in this country during the last 40 years. Since 1973 when abortion was legalized for any reason throughout pregnancy by the Supreme Court, an estimated 55 million of the lethal procedures have been performed.
Compiled by Tom Strode, Washington bureau chief for Baptist Press. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress ) and in your email ( baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).