China / Society

Inspectors eye rules for family planning

By Shan Juan and Wang Qingyun (China Daily) Updated: 2012-06-29 07:38

The National Population and Family Planning Commission will send 10 teams to 19 provincial-level administrative regions to inspect and ensure lawful enforcement of the family planning policy, said an online statement issued by the commission.

It came after several family planning officials in Northwest China's Shaanxi province were punished for forcing a local woman who was seven months pregnant to have an abortion.

After being exposed online, the forced abortion, which is prohibited by family planning regulations, kindled public anger.

The coming inspection is aimed at guaranteeing the lawful enforcement of the policy by correcting some problems that occur when grassroots officers enforce the policy, said the statement released on Wednesday.

Wang Xia, minister of the commission, said on Tuesday the implementation of family planning policies is directly related to people's interests, and the slightest error may cause a negative impact and tarnish the image of the country.

She urged inspection officers to find and solve problems of policy enforcement, particularly at the grassroots level.

Zhang Jian, information chief of the commission, told China Daily on Thursday that results of the inspection would be publicized after it is finished.

Lu Jiehua, a sociology professor at Peking University, urged the commission to release more details about the inspection and invite a third party to supervise and participate in the process.

Despite achievement in policy implementation in past decades, there have still been sporadic cases involving illegal enforcement like the forced abortion, he noted.

"Most of these happened in rural and poor areas," he said.

To correct the situation, the inspection is expected to help prevent "brutal law enforcement and administrative power from intruding on people's rights", according to the statement.

On June 2, Feng Jianmei in Ankang city of Shaanxi province was forced to terminate her pregnancy of seven months.

According to a statement by the Ankang government published on its website on Tuesday, Feng, 23, was found to be pregnant with a second child in March, but she failed to provide government documents permitting her to give birth to a second child.

"On June 2, Feng was taken to Zhenping County Hospital and underwent a procedure to terminate pregnancy," the statement said.

The statement also said that local family planning authorities required Feng and her family to submit a 40,000 yuan ($6,300) deposit, which would be returned to her after she received official permission to give birth, "but Feng and her family didn't answer the request".

Feng's family later posted a picture online of her and her aborted baby in bed in the hospital, which ignited public anger.

The Ankang city government has punished seven officials in Zhenping county by administrative measures or depriving them of their posts.

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