(Yuqing County, Guizhou—Jan. 27, 2014) A woman in the inland province Guizhou was forced to undergo a sterilization operation on Wednesday despite her protests that she was currently afflicted with a painful uterine ailment.
Tan Kaimei, 38, who suffers from hysteromyoma, a fibroid on the uterus which causes painful menstruation among other symptoms, was forcibly taken by more than 20 Yuqing County government employees to the local family planning office where she was pinned to a table and forced to undergo a sterilization procedure.
“Over 20 people from the town’s government came. I told them that she can’t have the operation at this time [because of her condition].” Huang Guoxing, Tan’s husband, said. “We wouldn’t sign the papers [to consent to the operation]. They wouldn’t listen to me. Several people pinned her down and the leader named Zhao from the family planning office signed the papers for her.”
Huang told ChinaAid that the couple have not violated any family planning policy that would warrant such actions against them. “Both my wife and I have been married before. My wife brought a child to the marriage. After we got married, we had two children.
“We have processed all the necessary papers for the legal childbirths. Now our youngest is five months old, and they want my wife to undergo ligation surgery. I argued with them, but they wouldn’t listen to me at all.”
Tan said her doctor told her that she had to wait until she was fully recovered from childbirth before an operation to remove the fibroid from her uterus could be done. Because of this, she said she begged the family planning officials to wait until she was recovered from childbirth or at least until she was done menstruating so that the pain would be less significant.
“They said they couldn’t wait. I asked them whether I could get two bottle of intravenous medication, and the doctor said he couldn’t do that as one can’t have intravenous medication when having a surgical operation. They dragged me to the operation table, and I cried. I said ‘I have both dizziness and light-headedness,’” Tan said. “I had to recover at home. Now I can’t walk around.”
ChinaAid’s Hong Kong reporter called the Yuqing County Family Planning Office to ask about the incident. The man who answered told the reporter that he was only a guard and didn’t know anything. When asked about Tan, the man replied that he was “sure” she had violated family planning policies. “If she hadn’t violated the policy, it is impossible for people to take her away,” the man said.
Huang insists that the couple didn’t violate any policies. “According to our local family planning policy, we can have a second child if the first-born is a girl,” Huang said, indicating that the couple’s first child together was a girl.
In addition, Huang said the couple has no plans of having another child, saying even if they were given 100,000 yuan (US$16,532), they wouldn’t want another child.
“I asked [Zhao] to give a legal explanation [for the operation]. He said he didn’t have a legal explanation, and that my wife should get a sterilization just because he told her to,” Huang said.
Huang told ChinaAid that most of the surrounding families with first-born sons have fled for fear of similar actions against them. He also said that in the past, people were able to pay a fee and avoid retaliation.
“Now, if they have a good relationship with these officials, the officials pretend not to see. Even if the officials come to get you, they crank up their speaker so that you know what is happening and can flee in time. If you don’t have a good relationship with them, they would try every way to get you and take you away,” Huang said.
Huang told ChinaAid that the couple has sought help from lawyers, but none in the area dare take such a case. One lawyer even told them that they “can’t win such a case.”
“Ours is not a county ruled by law. The lawyer said it is very difficult to win such cases,” Huang said.
ChinaAid condems the actions of the Yuqing County Family Planning Office. We call for prayers for Tan during her recovery. We also hope that Yuqing County officials do not repeat these actions against any other citizens.
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