Chinese authorities force abortions on Uighurs to suppress population

Abortions, contraceptive devices and surgical sterilisations measures are being forced upon women in Xinjiang in an apparent attempt to limit the population of Muslim Uighurs, according to new research.

While evidence of forced abortions and birth control has surfaced before, news agency AP has declared the practice is far more widespread and systematic than previously known.

The news agency argues the regime in China is attempting to slash the ethnic minority Uighur population in Xinjiang.

The investigative report highlights the brutal treatment of women and unborn babies through the eyewitness accounts of those affected. It has been released alongside damning new research by German researcher Dr Adrian Zenz.

In his report, Sterilizations, Forced Abortions, and Mandatory Birth Control: The CCP’s Campaign to Suppress Uyghur Birthrates in Xinjiang, Dr Zenz details the severe human rights abuses in Xinjiang and argues that these abuses meet the United Nation’s criteria for genocide.

Warning that the situation in Xinjiang has become “especially severe” in recent years, the report states: “Government documents bluntly mandate that birth control violations are punishable by extrajudicial internment in ‘training’ camps.”

Last year, Adrian Zenz estimated there were up to 1.5 million Uighur people and other minorities being detained in so-called political and religious “re-education” camps, sometimes referred to as “training” camps. 

Forced abortions

One former detainee, Tursunay Ziyawudun, told news agency AP that she was injected until she stopped having her period, and kicked repeatedly in the lower stomach during interrogations.

As a result, she now can’t have children and often doubles over in pain, bleeding from her womb.

Ziyawudun is among a number of women who have reported forced abortions to AP. She shared how a woman in another class turned out to be pregnant and disappeared from the camp.

Ziyawudun added that two of her cousins, who were pregnant at the time, “got rid of their children on their own because they were so afraid”.

She also revealed that a “teacher” at her camp told women they would face abortions if they were found to be pregnant during gynaecology exams.

Another woman, Gulbakhar Jalilova, confirmed that detainees in her camp were forced to abort their babies.

She also saw a new mum, still leaking breast milk, who did not know what had happened to her infant.

Jalilova said she had met doctors and medical students who were detained for helping Uighurs dodge the system and give birth at home.

Having too many children is also seen as a major reason people are sent to “re-education” camps, with parents of three or more children forcibly taken away from their families unless they can pay huge fines.

Police will often raid the homes of terrified parents searching for hidden children.

After Gulnar Omirzakh, a Chinese-born Kazakh, had her third child, authorities ordered her to get an intra-uterine device (IUD) – a long lasting method of birth control – fitted.

Despite her seemingly complying with the order, two years later, in January 2018, four officials in military camouflage came knocking at her door anyway.

They gave Omirzakh, the penniless wife of a detained vegetable trader, three days to pay a $2,685 fine for having more than two children.

She was warned if she couldn’t pay she would join her husband in a “re-education” camp.

A teary Omirzakh said: “They want to destroy us as a people.”

‘Huge psychological pressure’ 

A former teacher drafted to work as an instructor at a detention camp described her experience with IUDs to the AP.

She said Uighur residents had to chant: “If we have too many children, we’re religious extremists.”

As one of the officials in the teacher’s compound, she was told she needed to have an IUD fitted. But, she protested saying she was nearly 50 with just one child and no plans to have more.

Her protests were in vain though and she was forced into a bus with four armed officers and taken to a hospital where hundreds of Uighur women lined up in silence, waiting for IUDs to be inserted. Some wept quietly, but nobody dared say a word because of the surveillance cameras hanging overhead.

The former teacher said her IUD was designed to be irremovable and caused her headaches and non stop menstrual bleeding, during the first 15 days. 

“I couldn’t eat properly, I couldn’t sleep properly. It gave me huge psychological pressure,” she added. “Only Uighurs had to wear it.”

The result of China’s extreme population control campaign and forced abortions is a climate of terror around having children, which AP said could be seen in interview after interview. The news agency collected the testimonies of thirty women in the midst of this brutality.

Chinese health statistics also show a sterilization boom in Xinjiang.

Birth rates in the mostly Uighur regions of Hotan and Kashgar plunged by more than 60% from 2015 to 2018 – the latest year available in government statistics.

Across the Xinjiang region, birth rates fell by 24% last year alone compared to just 4.2% nationwide.

‘Slow, painful, creeping genocide’

Dr Zenz said: “This kind of drop is unprecedented….there’s a ruthlessness to it. This is part of a wider control campaign to subjugate the Uighurs.”

He added that the findings “provide the strongest evidence yet that Beijing’s policies in Xinjiang meet one of the UN’s genocide criteria”

Joanne Smith Finley, an expert on Uighurs at Newcastle University, agrees and said: “It’s genocide, full stop.”

She added: “It’s not immediate, shocking, mass-killing on the spot type genocide, but it’s slow, painful, creeping genocide.

“These are direct means of genetically reducing the Uighur population.”

The report has received a large amount of media attention and has prompted international calls for the United Nations to investigate.

In a statement on Monday, the Interparliamentary Alliance on China, an international cross-party group of politicians including Conservative MP Iain Duncan Smith, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, and US senator Marco Rubio, called on the UN to “establish an international, impartial, independent investigation into the situation in the Xinjiang region”.

“A body of mounting evidence now exists, alleging mass incarceration, indoctrination, extrajudicial detention, invasive surveillance, forced labor, and the destruction of Uyghur cultural sites, including cemeteries, together with other forms of abuse,” the statement said.

“The world cannot remain silent in the face of unfolding atrocities. Our countries are bound by solemn obligations to prevent and punish any effort to destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group ‘in whole or in part’.”

According to the BBC, China’s foreign ministry responded to the report on Monday by saying the allegations were “baseless” and showed “ulterior motives”.

Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian accused media outlets of “cooking up false information on Xinjiang-related issues”.

Painful legacy of one and two-child policies

Earlier this year, a Chinese mother who was given a forced abortion after falling pregnant with her third child was granted refugee status in New Zealand.

The family’s story offers a glimpse into how China’s former one-child policy and current two-child policy continue to leave a painful legacy

Although China’s brutal one-child policy was ended in 2015, it has now been replaced by a similarly draconian two-child policy and the devastating consequences of forced abortions, sterilizations, abandoned newborns, and Government abductions are still ongoing.

Chinese-born filmmakers Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang exposed some of the consequences of the policy by retelling some of the stories of those who lived through it. 

In their One Child Nation documentary, which can be viewed on Amazon Prime Video, an 84-year-old midwife revealed she was unsure how many babies she had delivered, but had performed a total of between 50,000 to 60,000 sterilizations and abortions.

“I counted this out of guilt, because I aborted and killed babies,” the midwife, Huaru Yuan, continues. “Many I induced alive and killed. My hands trembled doing it.”

One mother in China told the BBC that she would have liked a second child but was also forced to have an abortion.

She said: “You either go willingly or they come for you.”

Another mother told the BBC, that before the one-child policy was relaxed, she was forced to have an abortion. Speaking of the ordeal she said: “My baby didn’t die immediately… it kept on struggling inside me.

“It broke my heart, the next day it was born still alive… it cried. The doctor said don’t look at it, you’ll have nightmares.”

Mother given ‘forced abortion’ in China granted refuge in New Zealand, after harrowing story

A Chinese mother who was given a forced abortion after falling pregnant with her third child has finally been granted refugee status in New Zealand.

The mother – along with her husband, her 19-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son – appealed to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal after their initial decision to grant refugee protection was refused last year.

The family’s story highlights how China’s former one-child policy and current two-child policy continue to leave a painful legacy, and have been responsible for countless abortions in the world’s most populous country.

The pair married in China in 2008, having met in December 2000. The wife already had a daughter from her first marriage.

In April 2010, the mother of two discovered she was pregnant with another child, a boy.

Under Chinese law, the pair had to pay “a large sum of money” for a birth permit to have the second child. He was born in February 2011 and the family paid further money to register him.

After the son’s birth, Government officials regularly visited the couple’s home from 2010 to 2016, demanding the husband and wife write and sign a pledge agreeing to have no more children.

When they refused, the couple revealed, officials would threaten and insult them.

In addition to intimidating visits to the home, the husband’s employer also exerted pressure on him to not have further children. The state-owned company told the husband he had to either agree to have no more children or resign.

When he refused to do either, the company reduced his income to the minimum wage and subjected him to further harassment, which led him to resign.

In December 2015, the wife discovered she was pregnant with a third child. The news was received with “much joy” by the family.

However, Government officials soon found out and visited the family home to demand that the mother of two have an abortion. 

Court documents note that officials “pushed and prodded the wife and told her she was a pig for wanting so many children,” causing her to faint.

Shortly afterward, she began to experience heavy bleeding and went to the hospital fearing the worst.

Doctors and nurses treated the couple coldly after they learned it was her third pregnancy. They failed to undertake any scans or other tests to check on the health of the baby or to see if there was a heartbeat.

Instead, the wife was taken into theatre and was told she was having an operation to “remove the remainder of the foetus”

Due to the trauma of the event, the wife has trouble remembering what happened next but remembers seeing her baby being sucked out a tube and into a drainage pipe during the operation.

She doesn’t know if her baby was alive at the time or had miscarried.

However, neither she or her husband signed any consent forms for the procedure and believe officials directly or indirectly killed their child.

The Tribunal is satisfied that the events at the hospital amount to serious harm in the form of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and has resulted in psychological damage for the wife.

It found that the family had a well-founded fear of being persecuted if made to return to China and ruled that as refugees they cannot be deported.

The family can remain in New Zealand for the foreseeable future, but have been unsuccessful in getting pregnant again, since they lost their third child.  

Although China’s brutal one-child policy was ended in 2015, it has now been replaced by a similarly draconian two-choice policy and the devastating consequences of forced abortions, sterilizations, abandoned newborns, and Government abductions are still ongoing.

Chinese-born filmmakers Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang exposed some of the consequences of the policy by retelling some of the stories of some of those who lived through it. 

Early on in their One Child Nation documentary, which can be viewed on Amazon Prime Video, an 84-year-old midwife revealed she was unsure how many babies she had delivered, but had performed a total of between 50,000 to 60,000 sterilizations and abortions.

“I counted this out of guilt, because I aborted and killed babies,” the midwife, Huaru Yuan, continues. “Many I induced alive and killed. My hands trembled doing it.”

One mother in China told the BBC that she would have liked a second child but was also forced to have an abortion.

She said: “You either go willingly or they come for you.”

Another mother told the BBC, that before the one-child policy was relaxed, she was forced to have an abortion. Speaking of the ordeal she said: “My baby didn’t die immediately… it kept on struggling inside me.

“It broke my heart, the next day it was born still alive… it cried. The doctor said don’t look at it, you’ll have nightmares.”

(Image credit: Shutterstock: ID #703730317)

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.”

Abortion already underway as the Court of Appeal overturned forced abortion ruling

Documents from the Court of Appeal which ultimately stopped a state enforced abortion from taking place last month, revealed that the first stage of a three day abortion procedure was being carried out during the Court hearing.

At the end of June, Justice Nathalie Lieven ruled that forcing a woman with a moderate learning disability to have an abortion against her will was in her “best interests”. In a last minute hearing the next working day (Monday 24/06), three judges in the Court of Appeal overruled this decision, forbidding doctors from performing an abortion on this woman.

The full ruling of the Court of Appeal has now been released and it reveals that the woman was already undergoing a “pre-operative assessment” for the abortion, which was in fact being carried out during the hearing at the Court of Appeal.

The “pre-operative assessment” formed what would have been part of a three day invasive process which would ultimately have ended the life of her baby.

The ruling also reveals that the judges overturned Justice Lieven’s decision because she gave insufficient consideration to the wishes and feelings of the pregnant woman, as well as the views  of the woman’s primary carers – including her own mother – who believed it was in her best interests not to have an abortion.

The Court of Appeal judge, Lady Justice King said Justice Lieven “made no mention of AB’s [the woman’s] wishes and feelings or of the views of CD [the woman’s mother], the social worker or the Official Solicitor. This was, in my opinion a significant omission.”

The Court of Appeal also brought to light the “well established” principle that “the court does not take into account the interests of the foetus but only those of the mother”.

Clare McCarthy from Right To Life said:

“Between the original ruling and the decision from the Court of Appeal, the life of the 22-week-old baby hung in the balance and was literally hours away from being aborted. In fact, the pre-operative assessment for the abortion was already underway. If this last-minute hearing did not take place when it did, this baby would not be alive.

“As the ruling from the Court of Appeal made clear, the right to life of the baby held no weight in court, as the “the court does not take into account the interests of the foetus but only those of the mother”. This is despite the fact that the baby, this late in gestation, would in some cases have been able to survive outside of the womb.

“Although it is a major relief that the Court of Appeal came to this decision, and that the forced abortion did not take place, it is a chilling case that demonstrates the power the court holds over life and death.