The one-child policy in China leads to an estimated 13 million known abortions annually, and many of these are performed on orders given by family planning officials. The video posted by Al Jazeera appeared first on a Chinese version of Twitter.
Reporting for Al Jazeera, Melissa Chan writes that the parents involved in this illegal pregnancy that led to a legal abortion of an eight-month-old fetus do not know how the story of their misfortune made it to the Internet. She says:
Luo Yan Qua and Xiao Ai Ying do not know how their story got posted on the internet. They were too distraught and shocked to have even considered reaching out to media as an option.
There is the possibility that someone in the government, aware of their situation and sympathetic, quietly released information about them on a popular Chinese website which works in the same way Twitter does.
While her assumption that the leak came from someone in the government is unsubstantiated, the possibility exists because, as the blog Public Vigil tells us:
Forced abortions sometimes happen in remote areas of China, but this one occurred in one of the country's most modern cities. They are not condoned by the central government.
Once her illegal pregnancy was detected, Xiao Ai Ying, who has one previous child, the pregnant mother was dragged -- kicking and screaming -- out of her own home by family planning authorities who were accompanied by police officers. In an interview, the husband and father also says that police kicked his wife in the stomach, possibly to induce a miscarriage. Next, they took her to a hospital in the city of Xiamen, where her soon-to-be-born child was killed by a lethal injection while still in her body.
In China, the birth of a second child is illegal, a crime for which mothers often have to pay a fine, starting with $1 for the very poor yet sometimes up to $40,000. Some women may also be subsequently sterilised. It is not known at this point whether or not Xiao Ai Ying will have other punishments than the macabre one of having her baby killed inside her own womb.
To others, in and outside of China, it is not the mother who is thought to have committed a crime.