Late-Term Forced Abortions Exposed on Chinese 'Twitter'

Last year when Michael Jackson died, average people all over the world knew it within minutes, thanks in part to advances in social media technology such as Facebook and Twitter that make information sharing instantaneous. But maybe these new media have a role in getting out actually important, yet under-reported stories. That may be the case with the horror of violent forced abortions in China.

The enforcement of China's infamous one-child policy has led family planning authorities to fine women with an illegal second pregnancy for as little as $1 for the poorest citizens, up to $40,000. But in some cases, government actions are far more extreme. Thanks to an Al Jazeera video posted on China's version of Twitter, the truth of a gruesome, late-term abortion forced upon a mother in the modern city of Xiamen is now receiving more mainstream attention than it might have in a pre-Twitter era.

Xiao Ai Ying, illegally pregnant with her second child, was forced to undergo an abortion by Chinese police in her eighth month of pregnancy. Melissa Chan, a reporter for Al-Jazeera, interviewed Ying's husband, who recounted the horrific scene in which his wife was dragged from their home by family planning officials, accompanied by Chinese police officers. “There were many men surrounding my wife,” Ying said. “They held her arms behind her back, pushed her head against the door, kicked her stomach and I don't know if they were trying to give her a miscarriage, right there and then.”

In the video, Chan reported that the police then locked Ying up in a Chinese hospital, and gave her a lethal injection to terminate the life of the fetus. The video shows disturbing images of Ying, 8 months pregnant, with a dead baby inside her fully-grown stomach.

According to an article on the Web site for Digital Journal, Chan and her camera crew sneaked into the Chinese hospital to interview the Xiao Ai Ying. Chan believes that a sympathetic government official leaked the Al Jazeera Video onto the popular website that functions like Twitter, in an effort to expose the horrific crime.

Like this article? Sign up for "Culture Links," CMI's weekly e-mail newsletter, by clicking here.