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China gives family in forced-abortion case US$11K

Thursday, July 12, 2012    

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BEIJING, China (AP) — The family of a woman forced to undergo an abortion because she ran afoul of China's one-child policy has accepted a cash settlement, apparently ending a controversy that caused a public uproar and embarrassed the government.

Feng Jianmei's husband, Deng Jiyuan, told The Associated Press yesterday that the family accepted the settlement of 70,600 yuan (US$11,200) because they wanted to return to a normal life.

Feng was beaten by local officials and forced to abort her baby last month, seven months into her pregnancy, because she did not have 40,000 yuan (US$6,300) to pay the fine for having a second child.

Local authorities have often violently imposed abortions and sterilisations in an effort to meet birth quotas set by Beijing, but photos of Feng lying on a hospital bed with the blood-covered baby, reportedly stillborn after a chemical injection, set off a public outpouring of sympathy and outrage after they were posted online. The incident renewed criticism against China's tough family planning rules.

Chinese authorities issued a rare apology for the incident, fired two officials and sanctioned five others.

Deng, a villager from central China's Shaanxi province, said his family is "neither satisfied nor dissatisfied" with the amount of the settlement.

"It has never been about the money. As ordinary people, we can no longer take the pressure from all sides of the society," he said.

Deng and his family were labelled as traitors by fellow townspeople when he tried to get outside attention to the family's plight. The man later went into hiding before he made it to Beijing to seek legal help.

Deng said the family still wishes for another child.

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