By BosNewsLife Asia Service
BEIJING, CHINA (BosNewsLife)– A five-month pregnant woman who was threatened with a forced abortion because she already had a child has been allowed to return home but faces a massive fine if she gives birth, Chinese Christians said in statements obtained by BosNewsLife Monday, June 11.
“Many Chinese house church Christians prayed for” 37-year-old Cao Ruyi’s “unborn child and called the couple to encourage and express support for them,” said the China Aid Association (CAA), an advocacy group that supported her case.
Before her release from a hospital in Changsha, the capital of Hunan province, Cao, was forced to sign a written guarantee that she will pay a 10,000 yuan (nearly $1500) fine as a “pregnancy termination deposit” which will not be returned if she insists on keeping her baby, CAA added.
“Instead the deposit will serve as partial payment of her fine for giving birth to a baby without government permission. She will also be required to pay a ‘social burden compensation fee’ of $25,000” the group explained.
It was not immediately clear how and if the couple would be able to raise that money.
The troubles began when Cao was taken from her home last Thursday, June 6, by over a dozen government family planning officials and security forces, Christians said.
There was anger among authorities that she and her husband did not want to abort the child, as they already have a daughter who is almost six years old, violating China’s one-child-only policy, the family explained earlier.
Cao’s husband Li Fu said in published remarks however that surveillance personnel from the local family planning office had been called off.
He said that on behalf of his wife and their “unborn first child: together, he expressed “thanks” to CAA and those publishing the story for “exposing the violent manner in which the local family planning officials dragged” his wife to the hospital “and the threat of performing a forced abortion on her.”
United States Congressman Chris Smith reportedly contacted the Hunan provincial and Changsha municipal governments directly to express concerns, while Chinese citizens traveled to Changsha to lodge a formal protest with authorities against what they called the “illegal detention” by local officials.
Under China’s controversial one-child-only policy, forced abortions have been carried out, established Chen Guangcheng, an activist who last month was allowed by China to travel to the United States, ending a near-month diplomatic stand-off between the two nations.
“Once again we are appalled by this kind of barbaric criminal act against women and children, as exposed to the world by the blind self-taught lawyer Chen Guangcheng who got severe persecution because of that and fled to New York City last month with his family,” said CAA founder Bob Fu.
“The whole world should demand the Chinese authorities immediately halt this imminent atrocity and protect this innocent mother and baby from suffering a cruel, forced abortion,” Fu, a former Chinese house church pastor, explained earlier.