HUBEI PROVINCE, China (WordNews.org) April 8, 2013 – A women’s rights group is launching a petition against “coercive family planning” in China following the death of a mother of two who was forcibly sterilized to avoid “illegal pregnancy.”
Shen Hongxia was forcibly sterilized by the local Family Planning Officers on March 19 against a doctor’s warning. The 42-year-old woman died leaving behind her husband and two children, including one who was just two years old.
According to Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, said the Family Planning Bureau and the Village Committee “attempted to cover up their criminal responsibility by making an agreement to compensate the family by installments, and to build them a house. Family members felt forced to sign the agreement, as they saw no other way to seek relief.”
“Women’s Rights Without Frontiers strongly condemns forced sterilization and all coercive family planning in China,” said Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers. “The fact that Shen Hongxia’s doctor had clearly warned that sterilizing her could kill her makes her death the responsibility of the Family Planning Officers who forced this violent surgery upon her. Compensating her family with money is not enough. Those responsible for her death should face serious criminal charges.”
Women’s Rights Without Frontiers said this is the second death as a result of forced sterilization in March. In the other case, a woman who had been forcibly sterilized twice was found hanging in her local Family Planning Office, under suspicious circumstances, the group said.
“The Chinese Communist Party recently admitted to performing 196 million sterilizations. These sterilizations too often leave women butchered and maimed, and can at times be deadly,” Littlejohn said.