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China Suspends Family Planning Officials Following Outcry Over Alleged Forced Abortion

China Suspends Family Planning Officials Following Outcry Over Alleged Forced Abortion

June 19, 2012 — Chinese authorities on Thursday suspended three local family planning officials following public outrage over reports that they had coerced a woman into obtaining an abortion later in pregnancy, according to Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency, the New York Times reports.

The 23-year-old woman -- who was seven months pregnant -- allegedly was forced to have an abortion at a hospital in the Shaanxi Province in June, the news agency reported. The story received widespread attention after the woman's husband posted images of the fetus' remains online. The couple said they were told they had violated the nation's one-child policy and were ordered to pay a $6,300 fine. When they failed to pay, the woman, Feng Jianmei, was beaten and given an injection to induce abortion, they said.

The Shaanxi Population and Planning Commission told reporters that the local officials had committed a "serious violation" of regulations and that other family planning officials should draw "profound lessons" from what happened. The suspended officials were also forced to apologize to Feng, according to Xinhua.