Forced abortion

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A forced abortion may occur when the perpetrator causes abortion by force, threat or coercion, or by taking advantage of a situation where a pregnant individual is unable to give consent, or when valid consent is in question due to duress. This may also include the instances when the conduct was neither justified by medical or hospital treatment.[vague] Like forced sterilization, forced abortion may include a physical invasion of female reproductive organs.

People's Republic of China[edit]

Forced abortions associated with administration of the one-child policy have occurred in the People's Republic of China; they are a violation of Chinese law and are not official policy.[1] They result from government pressure on local officials who, in turn, employ strong-arm tactics on pregnant mothers.[2] On September 29, 1997, a bill was introduced in the United States Congress titled Forced Abortion Condemnation Act, that sought to "condemn those officials of the Chinese Communist Party, the government of the People's Republic of China and other persons who are involved in the enforcement of forced abortions by preventing such persons from entering or remaining in the United States".[3] In June 2012 Feng Jianmei was forcibly made to abort her 7 month old fetus after not paying a fine for breaking the one-child policy.[1] Her case was widely discussed on the internet in China to general revulsion after photos of the stillborn baby were posted online.[4] A fortnight after the forced abortion she continued to be harassed by local authorities in Shanxi Province.[5] On July 5, the European Parliament passed a resolution saying it "strongly condemns" both Feng's case specifically and forced abortions in general "especially in the context of the one-child policy."[6]

Part of the work of the activist "barefoot lawyer" Chen Guangcheng also concerned excesses of this nature.[7] By 2012, disagreement with forced abortion was being expressed by the public in China despite its reduced use, and repeal of the one-child policy was reportedly being discussed in some quarters for this and other reasons.[2][8] Even after the shift to a two-child policy in January 2016, the practice still occurs, in 2020 reportedly intimidating the Uyghur minority. The US government imposed sanctions on officials in response.[9]

North Korean refugees repatriated from China[edit]

Forced abortions and infanticide are used as a form of punishment in prison camps. The North Korean regime banned pregnancy in its camps in the 1980s.[10] China returns all illegal immigrants from North Korea which usually imprisons them in a short-term facility. Many North Korean escapees assert that forced abortions and infanticide are common in these prisons.[10][11][12] The majority of the prisoners held in the Chinese detention centers are women. Repatriated North Koreans are subject to forced abortions regardless of perceived crimes. North Korean police's efforts are to prevent North Korean women from having ethnically mixed children with Han Chinese men. Medical care was not provided to North Korean women who underwent forced abortions.[13]

United Kingdom[edit]

On June 21, 2019, a UK court ordered a disabled woman to have an abortion against her will.[14] This was subsequently overturned on appeal.[15]

United States[edit]

Coerced abortions qualify as forced abortions in the United States. Coercion includes withholding information from the patient, hiding or restricting access to abortion providers, or pressuring a woman to obtain an abortion.[16]

Laws surrounding forced abortions[edit]

In 2016, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder enacted two bills with the intent to end forced abortions in the state. The first bill banned coercing a woman to have an abortion, and the second bill bans coerced abortions.[17] Eighteen states, including the fourteen that have criminalized coerced abortion, have mandated that abortion clinics and providers offer written and verbal notification advising women against receiving an abortion under coercion.[citation needed]

Forced abortion in sex trafficking[edit]

In a series of focus groups conducted around the United States by anti-trafficking activist Laura Lederer in 2014, over 25% of survivors of domestic sex trafficking who responded to the question reported that they had been forced to have an abortion.[18][19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b David Barboza (June 15, 2012). "China Suspends Family Planning Workers After Forced Abortion". The New York Times. Retrieved June 27, 2012.
  2. ^ a b Edward Wong (July 22, 2012). "Reports of Forced Abortions Fuel Push to End Chinese Law". The New York Times. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
  3. ^ "H.R. 2570 (105th): Forced Abortion Condemnation Act". Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  4. ^ Evan Osnos (June 15, 2012). "Abortion and Politics in China" (Blog by reporter in reliable source). The New Yorker. Retrieved June 27, 2012.
  5. ^ Edward Wong (June 26, 2012). "Forced to Abort, Chinese Woman Under Pressure". The New York Times. Retrieved June 27, 2012.
  6. ^ "EU Parliament condemns China forced abortions". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Agence France-Presse. July 6, 2012. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  7. ^ Pan, Philip P. (8 July 2006). "Chinese to Prosecute Peasant Who Resisted One-Child Policy". The Washington Post. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  8. ^ Forced abortion sparks outrage, debate in China CNN, June 2012
  9. ^ Jerry Dunleavy (July 09, 2020). US sanctions Chinese Communist Party officials for Uighur human rights abuses. Washington Examiner. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  10. ^ a b James Brooke (June 10, 2002). "N. Koreans Talk of Baby Killings". The New York Times. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
  11. ^ David Hawk (2012). The Hidden Gulag Second Edition The Lives and Voices of "Those Who are Sent to the Mountains" (PDF) (Second ed.). Committee for Human Rights in North Korea. pp. 111–155. ISBN 978-0615623672. Retrieved September 21, 2012.
  12. ^ Kirby, Michael Donald; Biserko, Sonja; Darusman, Marzuki (7 February 2014). "Report of the detailed findings of the commission of inquiry on human rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea - A/HRC/25/CRP.1". United Nations Human Rights Council. Archived from the original on Feb 27, 2014. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  13. ^ Hawk, David (2012). The Hidden Gulag, Second Edition, The Lives and Voices of "Those Who are Sent to the Mountains". Washington, DC: The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea. pp. 99–123. ISBN 978-0615623672.
  14. ^ "UK court orders forced abortion for disabled Catholic, Nigerian woman".
  15. ^ "Appeal court overturns forced abortion ruling". 24 June 2019.
  16. ^ "Coercion Is at the Heart of Social Conservatives' Reproductive Health Agenda". Guttmacher Institute. 2018-02-02. Retrieved 2020-05-06.
  17. ^ "Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signs bill adding regulations to abortion providers; vetoes Blue Cross bills". 2012-12-29. Retrieved 2020-05-06.
  18. ^ Lederer, Laura (11 September 2014). "Examining H.R. 5411, the Trafficking Awareness Training for Health Care Act of 2014" (PDF). US House of Representatives, Energy and Commerce Committee, Witness Hearings. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  19. ^ Lederer, Laura; Wetzel, Christopher A. (2014). "The health consequences of sex trafficking and their implications for identifying victims in healthcare facilities" (PDF). Annals Health. 23: 61. Retrieved 1 August 2017.