Testimony of Ji Yeqing, Victim of Two Forced Abortions

The following testimony was delivered at a congressional hearing about the One-Child Policy on September 23, 2011.

 

My name is Ji Yeqing. I was born on December 2, 1975, in Jiading, Shanghai. I married Liu Bin in Shanghai in October 1996. My daughter, Liu Yiyang, was born on September 7, 1997. After she was born, the Family Planning agencies ordered me to go to the hospital and have an intrauterine device (IUD) inserted into my uterus after I was done nursing my child. At the time, my husband and I both wanted another child. My in-laws also had very strong biases against girls and urged us to have a boy. As a result, I did not go to the hospital for the IUD.

 

My husband and I decided then that we would wait to have a second child until after our daughter was old enough to attend kindergarten. I would then have time and energy to take care of the children. So I bought pills every month from the pharmacy for contraception. When the child was four and in kindergarten, we stopped the contraception. In June 2003, I discovered that I was pregnant again after a checkup at the only gynecological clinic nearby, the Jiading District Women and Children’s Clinic. Both my husband and I were very happy. However, the clinic was in close cooperation with the Family Planning Commission of Xiaomiao Village, Jiading District of Shanghai and reported my pregnancy. The day after my checkup at the clinic, Li Chunping of the Family Planning Commission and three other agents came to our home and told me that according to the One-Child Policy, we could not have a second child. I was pregnant again and had no choice but to undergo an abortion. Otherwise, we would be sabotaging the Family Planning Policy and breaking the law. Not only would we be fined 200,000 yuan ($31,300), which was more than three times our combined annual income, but also we would be fired from our jobs. We were very afraid at the time about losing our jobs. We could never acquire enough money to pay the exorbitant fines. Li then brought me to the same clinic to force an abortion. After the operation, they made me promise that I would have the IUD put in. Only then did they release me.

 

But I never did get the IUD implanted because I was still very hesitant about the IUD procedure. I had heard it was very painful and could produce serious physical complications. So I continued taking contraceptive pills. My in-laws insisted that we try for another pregnancy. They also promised to give us money to pay for the fines. They wanted a grandson even if it cost 200,000 yuan. My husband persuaded me to stop taking the pills in February 2006. I was pregnant again in September of the same year. We were determined to have another child and prepared for the fines. After my checkup at the hospital, like the previous time, the Family Planning Commission learned of it the very next day. We had known of the close cooperation between the clinic and the local birth planning agencies, so we expected this. But there was only one licensed hospital in the area, so I had no choice but to go there for checkups. Two days after my visit to the hospital, Li Chunping and five other agents came to our home to ask why I had not had the IUD inserted and why I had decided to get pregnant again. I told them that I wanted another child and we were prepared to pay the fines. Li stated that Chinese law decreed that the second child was forbidden. Even if it was born, the child could not be registered and would not be able to attend school. More than the fines, we would be fired from our jobs with a child that would never be registered by the census. But this time we were not afraid. We were willing to take the punishment of fines and losing our jobs. It wasn’t as important to us as our child.

 

Li then ordered the other agents to bring me to the hospital for an abortion. They surrounded us. Li and two others grabbed me by the arm and dragged me outside. Two others stopped my husband Liu Bin from rescuing me and beat him. I begged them to spare us. We only wanted another baby and never wanted to do anything evil. Why did they keep such close watch over us? I also said we were willing and prepared to pay the fines. I kept begging them in tears, but it was no use. Then I threatened to take legal action, but Li replied that my pregnancy with a second child was illegal, so reporting the case to court would be useless. I couldn’t free myself although I struggled all the way. They dragged me down from the fourth floor into a waiting car, drove into the Jiading Women and Children’s Clinic, and pulled me directly into the operating room. They held me down in a bed and sedated me. The abortion was performed while I was unconscious. When I came to, I was already in the recovery room outside the operating room. Doctors told me that they had installed the IUD immediately after the abortion, and that I was responsible for the cost of the IUD procedure. So, the intrauterine device was installed in me against my will while I was lying unconscious, completely unaware. After the abortion, I felt empty, as if something was scooped out of me. My husband and I had been so excited for our new baby. Now, suddenly, all that hope and joy and excitement had disappeared, all in an instant. I was very depressed and despondent. For a long time, whenever I thought about my lost child, I would cry.

 

After the IUD insertion, my body continued to feel discomfort, with frequent back pains. I wanted the IUD taken out, but the hospital never allowed it. Removal of the IUD required a stamped permission from the Family Planning Commission. When I went to the Family Planning Commission, Li Chunping was very determined in her refusal. She said that physical “reactions” to the IUD was normal and there was no need to panic. Removal of the IUD was impossible for me. After two years of living with this pain, my in-laws gave up hope that they would have a grandson through me. They began pressuring my husband to divorce me. At that time, my husband also started to change. He frequently stayed away from home for several nights. When I tried to reason with him, he said that since I had not given him a son, he would find someone else who could. I felt desperate and lost all hope or confidence in my marriage. At the end of 2008, in tears, I signed the divorce agreement Liu Bing handed to me. And so my first marriage ended after a great deal of suffering.

 

I met my current husband, Gong Xiaolin, in 2009, married him in October 2010, and then came with him to the United States. We would love to have a child together. Upon arrival in the U.S., I went to a clinic to remove my IUD and to receive a gynecological exam. The doctor told me that I had cervical erosion, likely due to the poor medical conditions of my forced abortions.

 

We realize just how lucky we are to be in the U.S., where there is no fear of a Family Planning Commission and women have the choice to keep their babies. Today I am able to tell my story for the first time. It is my prayer that the One-Child Policy will come to an end soon and set the Chinese people free from this awful oppression. Thank you very much for your time and attention.







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