- The Washington Times - Monday, April 8, 2013

A Chinese mother of two died following a sterilization procedure that government family planners forced her to undergo, over the objections of her doctor.

Shen Hongxia, 42, leaves behind a husband and two children, Life News reported.

Her doctor had warned Family Planning Officers against the procedure, saying she was not healthy enough and it could place her at risk. But planners said they wanted to avoid an “illegal pregnancy,” Life News said.

After her death, planners and village committee officials agreed to provide her family compensation and to build them a house, in order to put a stop to further investigation. Life News said the family members felt as if they were forced to sign the agreement.

“Women’s Rights Without Frontiers strongly condemns forced sterilization and all coercive family planning in China,” said Reggie Littlejohn, president of the group, to Life News. “The fact that Shen Hongxia’s doctor had clearly warned that sterilizing her could kill her makes her death the responsibility of the Family Planning Officers who forced this violent surgery upon her. Compensating her family with money is not enough. Those responsible for her death should face serious criminal charges.”

Ms. Littlejohn said this is the second fatality from China’s forced sterilization policies in just the past few weeks. And it’s not exactly a well-kept secret.

“The Chinese Communist Party recently admitted to performing 196 million sterilizations,” Ms. Littlejohn said in Life News. “I first learned of the brutality of China’s One Child Policy by representing a woman who had been forcibly sterilized. Family Planning Officials literally dragged her out of her home kicking and screaming, held her down to a table and cut her open with no anesthesia. She said it felt like someone was burning her insides with a blowtorch.”

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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