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)

New Zealand’s tiniest baby to celebrate first birthday against the odds, after parents reject abortion

A baby girl given just a 30% chance of survival has beaten the odds and will soon celebrate her first birthday after her parents rejected abortion.

Amairah Makan weighed just 490g when she was born by emergency caesarean section at 29 weeks, making her one of New Zealand’s tiniest babies to survive premature birth.

The Auckland tot is now healthy and happy, though nearly half the average weight for her age at just under 5kg, as she approaches her first birthday on 25 February.

Amairah’s mother and father, Kainat and Piyush, were told at the 20-week pregnancy ultrasound scan that their daughter wasn’t growing and that the baby’s prognosis “didn’t look good“.

At that point, doctors told the first-time parents they faced either a delivery at 30 weeks or a stillbirth and offered them an abortion.

Kainat told New Zealand news website Stuff that it was “was the biggest shock” of their lives.

Determined to give their daughter a chance, they declined the abortion.

By 26 weeks, Kainat developed preeclampsia and was hospitalised until Amairah was born weighing just enough to be cared for by the neonatal doctors in Auckland Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). 

Amairah’s rough first year continued and she suffered from a range of medical problems, including chronic lung disease, respiratory distress syndrome, and retinopathy. She also had two surgeries for bowel obstruction and developed multiple infections, needed multiple blood transfusions, ultrasound scans, X-rays and MRI.

Kainat said: “When she was born, I didn’t even see her, I didn’t even hug her, they just took her. We had our first cuddle 12 days after she was born.”

Amairah is now thriving under the care of developmental therapist and dietician.

One month ahead of Amairah’s first birthday her mother exclaimed: “She’s such a happy child, she’s smiling all the time at strangers, she barely cries”.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has championed a Government Bill to introduce extreme abortion legislation to New Zealand. The Bill will introduce abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities such as Down’s syndrome or cleft lip and palate.

Currently, there is a 20-week time limit for disability-selective abortions in New Zealand law.

The proposed legislation will see this time limit removed and abortion for babies prenatally diagnosed with Down’s syndrome and other disabilities will be available up until birth, with the approval of a single health practitioner.

A large number of parents have publicly voiced their concerns about the harmful impact this Bill will have on people with Down’s syndrome.

Last month, thousands of people gathered in the New Zealand’s capital city to urge their political leaders to defend human life ahead of an expect vote on the extreme abortion bill later this year.

Thousands march for life in New Zealand, ahead of extreme abortion bill vote

Thousands of people from all over New Zealand marched in the country’s capital on Saturday calling on their political leaders to defend human life from conception, ahead of next year’s vote on an extreme abortion bill.

Over 2,000 people gathered in the streets of Wellington for the third National March for Life carrying signs saying “Both Lives Matter” and “Love them Both”.

It comes as steps are being taken by new Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to permit abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities such as Down’s syndrome or cleft lip and palate.

Currently, there is a 20-week time limit for disability-selective abortions in New Zealand law.

The proposed legislation will see this time limit removed and abortion for babies prenatally diagnosed with Down’s syndrome and other disabilities will be available up until birth, with the approval of a single health practitioner.

Before 20 weeks, expectant women would be able to refer themselves for an on-demand abortion.

A large number of parents have publicly voiced their concerns about the harmful impact this Bill will have on people with Down’s syndrome.

These concerns were echoed to thousands of pro-life campaigners on Saturday as Aggie Brown took to the stage with her husband Derek and their adopted nine-year-old son Reuben.

Addressing the crowds, Aggie explained how she and her husband’s life had changed for the better in having Reuben as part of the family, saying:   

“He may have Down’s but he undeniably shows us and others so much love, joy and happiness. He has taught us tolerance, empathy and kindness. There’s no such thing as a perfect human being and it saddens me to hear that Down’s syndrome is seen in a negative light.”

Aggie had been dismayed to learn in the lead up to Reuben’s birth his mother was strongly advised to consider having an abortion, by her GP, who gave her “the worst possible scenario if she chose to keep her Down’s baby”.

She added: “Much work is needed to illuminate the vast majority of genocide, discrimination and mistreatment that people with Down syndrome face.

“We would not be standing here today with our awesome nine-year-old son Reuben had his birth mother decided to have a termination. And for that, we highly commend her in making a courageous selfless decision in choosing adoption as a living option.”

Since 1974, when the first abortion facility opened in Auckland, New Zealand has seen more than 500,000 abortions take place.

In 2018 the total number of abortions was 13,282, the equivalent of 36 abortions per day.

New Zealand to vote in referendum on euthanasia

New Zealand is to become the first country in the world to put euthanasia to a binding public vote after lawmakers passed a bill laying out what the country’s assisted suicide regime would be.

The bill passed narrowly on Wednesday by 69 votes to 51, ending years of parliamentary debate on the topic.

The drastic change in law will come into effect if the people of New Zealand approve it in a referendum at the country’s 2020 election.

The proposed change in law goes much further than the Oregon style assisted suicide legislation that has been proposed and rejected by the UK Parliament. Most recently in 2015, MPs voted by 330 votes to 118 to reject a bill that proposed to introduce an Oregon style law to the UK.

There has been very vocal opposition to the proposed change in law.

A record 39,000 public submissions were made while lawmakers were considering the matter, with 90% of submitters opposed to it.

As MPs voted, campaigners carried placards stating “assist us to live not die” and “euthanasia is not the solution” outside parliament.

Claire Freeman, who was involved in a car accident causing her to become tetraplegic, has spoken out forcefully against the assisted suicide.

In a short documentary, for #DefendNZ, Claire revealed that after attempting suicide more than once health professionals “encouraged [her] to explore assisted suicide”.

During her recuperation in hospital, Claire realised “being offered assisted suicide instead of suicide support was disturbing.”

She added: “I had been told ‘if I was in your position, with your disability, I wouldn’t want to live’ by the very health professionals who are there to help suicide survivors… I realised my biggest problem had been my mindset and a lack of proper support.”

Wendi Wicks, a long-time advocate for the rights of disabled people, told the Guardian that the proposed law is dangerous for everyone in New Zealand; particularly the disabled.

Outlining her concerns she said: “[The bill] doesn’t protect against coercion, competency or consent abuses. It doesn’t allow for a cooling-down period like Oregon or Victoria have. Safeguards are vague and lax. Worse still, there’s a sense that a certain level of wrongful death is acceptable.

She added: “It’s to be hoped that the population at large can do a sound job, but that depends on the quality and range of information they get. MPs had a huge range of sound, factual information. But judging from their voting record, many clearly disregarded heaps of it.”

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has publicly stated her support for euthanasia reform and reluctantly voted for the referendum saying it was the only way of advancing the legislation.

Following her pledge to make widespread changes to New Zealand’s abortion law, a parliamentary bill has been introduced which will in practice permit abortion up to birth for babies prenatally diagnosed with the Down’s syndrome. It has prompted widespread concern from parents about the harmful impact this Bill will have on people with Down’s syndrome.

Two previous attempts to allow for legal assisted suicide in New Zealand have failed to get through Parliament.