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XI'AN - The city government of Ankang on Thursday evening apologized to a woman who underwent a forced abortion at a hospital in Northwest China's Shaanxi province, adding that officials who have been found to be responsible for the incident will be relieved of their duties.
According to a preliminary investigation, several government officials in Zhenping county, which is administered by Ankang, were found to have violated national and provincial policies and regulations, the city government said.
The government said it has decided to suspend Jiang Nenghai, director of the county's Family Planning Bureau, Chen Pengyin, head of the Zengjiazhen township government, and Ren Longchun, head of the Zengjiazhen township's family planning office.
The city government urged the county government to carry out an in-depth examination of its family planning operations and make greater efforts to protect people's legal rights.
The government apologized to Feng Jianmei and her family members, saying it will accept supervision from society and cope with the case in accordance with law.
Feng, 27, was forced to terminate her pregnancy at seven months in a hospital in Zhenping on June 2.
Details of the case, including several photos showing the remains of the fetus lying next to the mother on her hospital bed, were posted on online forums and have since shocked and angered many people nationwide.
The Shaanxi Provincial Population and Family Planning Commission, which oversees family planning in the province, announced Thursday that it has dispatched an investigatory team to Zhenping and ordered the local government to punish any officials who are found to be responsible for the forced abortion.
Authorities in Zhenping said Feng consented to the abortion, adding that Feng was not legally entitled to have a second child. Feng previously gave birth to a girl in 2007.
However, Feng's abortion took place late in her pregnancy, a practice that is prohibited by China's laws on population and family planning.