Opinion / Opinion Line

Rule of law should force officials to abandon demand for abortions

(China Daily) Updated: 2015-05-26 07:45

The government of Lanling county, East China's Shandong province, is reportedly requiring village officials for a certain number of abortions every month, or the lower officials will be fined. The central family planning authorities said they had no idea about the incident and would investigate. Comments:

The barbaric deeds of the family planning bureaucrats in Lanling shows how cruel unlimited power can be. The law has never authorized any government agency to force pregnant women to abort; but in reality some family planning officials have been practicing that. The central leadership vows to strengthen the rule of law and we expect the move can prevent some officials from continuing acting like bandits.

Beijing News, May 24

The officials are nominated by their superiors, so all day long they are busy satisfying higher authorities. It is the provincial even national family planning authorities' requirements forbidding women from giving birth without permission that encouraged local officials to set quotas and force women to abort. Power must be regulated at both the bottom and higher levels., May 25

This is not the first report about forced abortions; in occasional cases women have suffered trauma or even lost their lives, yet the responsible officials never got their deserved punishment. Some of the forced abortions involve not only violation of human rights, but also Criminal Law. The disciplinary and judicial agencies must intervene instead of turning a blind eye to them.

Southern Metropolis Daily, May 24

The central authorities have launched reform to loosen the family planning policy, but it seems local officials refuse to implement it and all they want is still the old, strict policy. It is economic interests that drive the local bureaucrats to be harsh with ordinary people, because they can profit by collecting fines. It is necessary to take the power of imposing fines back from family planning officials so the reform can go on smoothly.

Huashang Daily, May 25

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