Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Baby's Life in Jeapordy

The life of an unborn baby is in jeopardy as Chinese authorities prepare to force the mother to undergo an abortion. Guards are holding captive Arzigul Tursun, who is six months pregnant with her third child, at a hospital in China’s northwestern Xinjiang region.

Late on Sunday, Tursun fled the hospital that she was staying at while awaiting her abortion. But she was tracked down by police Monday afternoon at a relative’s house and was again taken to the hospital for an abortion, according to Radio Free Asia.

“The police found my wife,” Nurmemet Tohtasin, the woman’s husband, said in a telephone interview from the Women and Children’s Welfare Hospital, to RFA. “My wife’s father was already at the hospital. They will probably do the abortion today.”

The village chief and party secretary had forced her husband to find Tursun after she escaped from the hospital on Sunday. Nurmemet took officials to two of Tursun’s relatives’ homes and to her parents’ home.

“They said if we don’t find Arzigul, they would take our house and our farmland,” he said.

International protest about the case had initially stalled the abortion. Republican Chris Smith of New Jersey, the House Ranking Member on the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, said human rights groups and the U.S. government will be watching closely to see what happens: “The Chinese Government is notorious for this barbaric practice, but to forcibly abort a woman while the world watches in full knowledge of what is going on would make a mockery of its claim that the central government disapproves of the practice, and of the UN Population Fund pretense that it has moderated the Chinese population planners’ cruelty.”


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