8/27/2004

Chinese woman forced abortion to qualify for death penalty

This is a horrific story:

Chinese prison officials have forced a pregnant inmate found guilty of transporting heroin to undergo an abortion so that she could be eligible for the death penalty, according to a report published on Wednesday, AFP/Yahoo! News reports.

Ma Weihua in January was arrested in Gansu province for transporting 56 ounces of heroin from Xinjiang province. Under China's criminal code, individuals convicted of trafficking that amount of heroin can be executed.

However, following Ma's arrest, prison doctors discovered during a routine physical exam that she was approximately seven weeks pregnant. Under Chinese law, pregnant women and people younger than age 18 cannot be executed.
[...]
Although Ma said she wanted to carry the pregnancy to term, officers from the anti-drug task force at the Chengguan police substation in February signed a consent form ordering an abortion "on her behalf," according to AFP/Yahoo! News.

The consent form stated that the substation director requested that Ma be forced to undergo the procedure because she was "uncooperative." The form also noted that Ma was given general anesthesia -- which put her to sleep -- instead of the local anesthetic usually used for early-term abortions, according to Ma's attorney Weng Weihua.


Forcing a woman to have an abortion is monstrous in itself (more so, I would argue, than a woman choosing to abort, though certainly conservatives may disagree). The death penalty angle is equally perverse - what's the rationale of the Chinese government here? That life is so precious, we must end it in order not to kill it? There isn't even a nugget of logic, however obscene, to mitigate the moral evil of such a policy.

3 comments:

MikeNargizian said...

Looks like we agree on something.
Funny why we also don't hear any mainstream world coverage about what China is doing in Tibet? Yet China has the gall to harshly critique for 'world peace' Israel's actions... Sorry couldn't help myself.

Dan said...

The policies of the current government in China are immoral on any number of levels, not only with respect to their barbaric forced-abortion policy but also with regard to the draconian repression of Christians, Muslims, Falun Gong, Tibetan Buddhism, et al., entirely apart from their complete lack of toleration for anybody who thinks that there's something bigger than the state.

Chinese policies with regard to Xinjiang are light years worse than anything Israel has ever done in the Palestinian territories, which is one of the reasons why anyone who wants to lead a divestment campaign from Israel while buying Chinese goods has quite a bit to explain IMO.

colin roald said...

There isn't even a nugget of logic, however obscene, to mitigate the moral evil of such a policy.Sounds to me like someone in Beijing tried to write some humanitarian exceptions into the death penalty policy, and the goons in Gansu didn't want to play along.

I particularly "admire" the logic of signing a consent form on behalf of a woman who doesn't want to consent, because she was "uncooperative".

Civilization is not built on rules. Civilization is built on civilized people.