The case of a Chinese woman who settled a claim over her forced abortion stoked public debate on the nation's one-child policy, late-term abortion and practices of population officials. Now it has prompted another woman to come forward.
Tang Leqiong from Yunnan Province said she was 37 in 2005 when she lost her baby, which was 10 days from being mature, even though she had a permit for a second child.
Population officials in Xinping County, Yuxi City, said their actions were in line with the law and they never forced Tang to have an abortion.
Yunnan-based Life News reported over the weekend that Tang delivered a girl in 1996. Since she was registered as a member of the farm population and her husband was in the non-farm population, she was entitled to have a second child under Yunnan population laws at that time, the report said.
She applied on April 19, 2002 to have a second child and received the permit on April 26.
Tang was pregnant in July 2004 with a due date of April 7, 2005. However, she was told by local population authorities in February 2005, that her permit for the second child was invalid and the couple was not eligible to have a second child.
Tang said she had planned to complain to the Yuxi population authority on March 14. But staff from Xinping population bureau stopped her, coming to her home on March 16, forcing her to go to a hospital for an abortion and restricting her freedom, she said.
Tang had an abortion on March 17.
Fang Hongping, director of the Xinping population bureau at that time, said Yunnan population laws changed in September 2002 so that when both spouses or either spouse is from the non-farm population, they may have only one child. She also said a permit for a second child is valid only within one year, or the couple would need to apply again.
"Tang didn't deliver a second child within one year after having the permit, and she was not eligible for a second child afterwards," said Fang, who claimed the population bureau went to Tang's home to take back the permit and inform her about the new law.
Population officials said they found out about Tang's pregnancy in February 2005 and educated the couple about the new policy.
"We persuaded them in about one week and received their approval," Fang said.
"She signed the surgery permit by herself under our witness. We never forced her."