Nov 13, 2008
"I appeal to the Chinese Government not to forcibly abort Arzigul, a Uyghur woman now in the custody of China’s population police and awaiting the nightmare of a forced abortion," said Rep. Chris Smith, the House Ranking Member on the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. "The Chinese Government is notorious for this barbaric practice, but to forcibly abort a woman while the world watches in full knowledge of what is going on would make a mockery of its claim that the central government disapproves of the practice, and of the UN Population Fund pretense that it has moderated the Chinese population planners’ cruelty. Human rights groups and the U.S. Government will be watching very carefully to see what happens to Arzigul and her family."
Smith made a personal appeal on behalf of Arzigul directly to Chinese ambassador Zhou Wenzhong.
Earlier on Thursday, November 13, Radio Free Asia and the Uyghur Human Rights Project reported that Chinese authorities tried to pressure Arzigul, a Uighur woman from the locality of Yining (in the Uyghur language, Ghulja) who is 26 weeks pregnant with her third child, to have an abortion. When Arzigul refused and fled her village, the authorities interrogated and threatened her relatives until they were able to take her into custody on November 11. According to the reports, the authorities forced a relative to sign a document authorizing the abortion, and began doing health tests to assess her ability to withstand a forced abortion, which was scheduled for Thursday, November 13. Arzigul is now reported to be in the maternity ward in a Yining hospital. Word of the threatened human rights abuse leaked out, and RFA and the UHRP have received a reliable report that the forced abortion has not yet been performed, thanks to rapidly developing international interest in the case.
Despite official denials, it has been documented that the Chinese Government regularly relies on forced abortion to enforce its one-child-per-couple population control program.