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|Thu, 01-10-2008 - 4:48pm|
A Chinese woman who was forced to have an abortion despite being nine months pregnant is suing the authorities for their actions.
Jin Yani's waters had already broken when China's abortion police came for her. They took her to a nearby abortion centre, injected her unborn baby girl and removed the body two days later.
Mrs Jin's crime was to have become pregnant by her fiance five months before she married him at the age of 20, the legal minimum.
Pregnancy outside marriage is illegal. But forced abortions are now supposed to be illegal in China.
In a blow against the state's brutally imposed one-child policy, she and her husband are claiming danmages against the authorities, saying that officials acted unlawfully.
China's higher courts have agreed to hear the plea - the first time this has happened in a case of this kind.
Yang Zhongchen, her husband, tried to prevent the abortion by wining and dining officials in Hebei province. He also agreed to pay a fine of £650, but none of this prevented Changli county family planning officials arriving on Sept 7, 2000.
Mrs Jin said: "I got on my knees and begged them after they took me to the clinic and said I wanted to give birth to my daughter. I had already named her Yang Yin."
In the clinic, she was injected with a large syringe. Her husband arrived in time to witness the removal of the dead foetus with forceps two days later.
Mrs Jin lost blood, and was hospitalised for 44 days. Her husband was charged for the medicine she needed. He said that his wife is now infertile as a result of the abortion.
Mr Yang has demanded £85,000 to cover medical expenses, psychological distress and Mrs Jin's inability to conceive.
At first the case got nowhere, but the regional people's court agreed to hear the couple's appeal in October. At that point, Mr Yang said that officials made contact offering him a job and free hospital treatment for his wife. But that is not enough, he said.
"They have made no mention of damages," he said while on a visit to Beijing to meet his lawyer. "We can get a job anywhere."
But the couple say they can never truly be compensated.
"Our baby will never come back," Mrs Jin said. "We just hope this kind of thing will never happen again."