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Chinese pair forced to abort daughter claims torment by authorities

| Tuesday, June 26, 2012, 8:40 p.m.

BEIJING — A couple forced into an abortion for not paying the fine for an extra child say they are being tormented by Chinese authorities despite the punishment of seven officials connected to the case.

“Over 10 people here watch us 24 hours a day,” said Deng Jicai, who is caring for her sister-in-law Feng Jianmei in the Zengjia township hospital where the abortion took place.

Her brother and Feng's husband, Deng Jiyuan, telephoned Tuesday to report he was safe in another town after a beating he took in their home province of Shaanxi, where townspeople held a protest march against the family.

Marchers accused the family of being “traitors” for complaining that Feng was forced into a car June 4 by authorities, taken to a hospital and given drugs to induce labor and end her pregnancy in its seventh month.

Photos posted on the Internet of Feng lying in her hospital bed with her dead baby daughter by her side sparked unusual and widespread anger in a nation long accustomed to both voluntary and forced abortions. Feng and her husband, who have a 5-year-old daughter, were unable to pay the fine in time for having a second child.

Seven Chinese officials have been punished, including two firings, in connection with the incident, the state news agency Xinhua reported. While the Chinese government remains committed to controlling family sizes, an online survey on Tencent QQ, a popular microblog, found almost 83 percent of respondents considered family planning policy “inhumane” and said it should be abolished.

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