North Korean defectors face forced abortion on return to country

Forced abortions are an on-going human rights abuse in North Korea, particularly for repatriated defectors, according to experts interviewed by Fox News.

For female defectors from North Korea and are subsequently forcibly returned to the country after escape attempts, if they are found to be pregnant, they are frequently subjected to forced abortions and sometimes infanticide shortly after birth

Olivia Enos, Senior Policy Analyst for Asian Studies at The Heritage Foundation said:

“Terrifying reports from female defectors depict undergoing forced abortions after they fled to what they thought was freedom in China, only to be repatriated back to North Korea by authorities in China,”

“Other women from North Korea recount having aborted babies born alive or giving birth in ordinary prison camps only to have border guards smother or drown their babies before their very eyes.”

A 2014 United Nations Human Rights Council report found that “blood tests are routinely conducted on all repatriated women”. Those found to be pregnant are made to endure abortions through a number of methods, including “inflicting trauma to the uterus through physical force to induce expulsion such as beating, kicking” as well as “forcing pregnant women to engage in heavy physical work to induce pre-term labor or premature separation of the placenta from the uterus”.

In cases where a mother is permitted to carry her child to term, the report also pointed to prison guards then suffocated or drowned the newborn.

The majority of forced abortions and infanticides are performed on mothers and their children, repatriated from China. “Forced abortions are carried out on the premise that all repatriated pregnant women could be carrying babies conceived by Chinese men. The women are not asked what ethnicity the father of the child is,” the UN report states

With little access to North Korea, up to date data is hard to attain but there is little reason to think that the situation has improved significantly.

Spokesperson for Right To Life UK Catherine Robinson said:

“The barbarity being report in North Korea is shocking. Forced abortion is not restricted to North Korea however and is a terrible evil which we must work to end wherever it happens.”

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