A horrific forced abortion in China, and its fallout, has become an international scandal. On June 2, officials from Zengjia, a town in Shaanxi province in Central China, forcibly aborted 23-year-old Feng Jianmei’s seven and a half month old baby after the family failed to pay the 40,000 RMB (about US$6,000) “fee” that local officials demanded after learning Feng was pregnant with her second child in violation of China’s “one-child policy.” The family asked if could pay less up front, but the officials would not permit “one cent less” than the full amount.
But unbeknownst to the officials, the world would soon be watching. Feng’s sister snapped, then posted, an impossibly grim photograph that set China’s Internet ablaze. The image is so graphic that we will only point you to it here; it shows Ms. Feng lying dazed next to the body of her dead fetus. Shortly after the image’s posting online, provincial officials suspended three Zengjia officials from duty following further investigation.
What does the suspension mean, and why did it happen? BBC World News interviewed Editor David Wertime to find out.