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Chinese woman: when I awoke my nine-month unborn baby was dead and my uterus was removed

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Hong Hu City, China, June 26, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In the wake of international coverage of the gruesome forced abortion committed on Chinese woman Feng Jianmei, another woman has stepped forward to share her story of the brutality of China’s one-child policy.

Feng Jianmei’s story burst into the international spotlight earlier this month after a photograph of her lying next to the corpse of her forcibly aborted 7-month-old unborn baby began circulating on the internet. While Chinese officials issued an “apology” to Feng for the abortion, reports since indicate that she and her family are being hounded by the government, while she has been labeled a “traitor.”

Now Zhang Wen Fang, 43, has risked retribution from the government by stepping forward to tell Chai Ling of the human rights organization All Girls Allowed about how she lost both her baby and her livelihood when officials forced her into a hospital for surgery four years ago.

According to Zhang, on May 23rd, 2008, when she was nine months pregnant, at least eleven Family Planning officials entered her home while her husband was away. Eight or nine men and three women dragged her into a van and took her to the People’s Hospital, where they induced labor despite her protests. At 8 p.m. they tried to inject an unknown chemical into her stomach, and Zhang resisted: “I pulled the needle out,” she said. “But then six men held me down so that they could give me the injection with a second needle.” Afterwards, they kept her in a room and did not let her family know where she was.

On May 25th, Zhang began to suffer contractions and then her water broke. She remembers feeling panic: “I was saying, ‘Help, help!’ but they ignored me and wouldn’t even let me out of the room.” Shortly after, she lost consciousness.

When Zhang woke up on May 26th, she was in extreme pain—and her baby was gone. “When I asked the officials and doctors what happened to the baby, if it was alive or dead, they would not tell me.” Chai Ling asked Zhang how she felt after the ordeal, and she broke down in tears. “I often have dreams about the baby,” said Zhang. “In those dreams, a child is looking at me and crying, asking, ‘Mommy, can you save me?’”

But officials did not stop there. They also removed Zhang’s uterus. The next morning, they forced Zhang’s mother to sign a form accepting that her daughter’s uterus was gone. Subsequent medical examinations revealed that the hospital had also removed her cervix, fallopian tubes, and right ovary.

Before the incident, Zhang was an entrepreneur. She began a successful trucking business and was making 1,000 RMB ($157 USD) per day. But she suffered major complications when doctors removed her uterus and is now confined to a wheelchair with severe kidney malfunction. She had to close her business because she can no longer move freely, and her marriage also broke down under the strain. “After suffering much harassment and beatings from the Family Planning Committee people, my husband left me,” said Zhang.

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Zhang tried to petition the government about the incident, but Mr. Guo, the Deputy Minister of the Family Planning Committee in Hong Hu, was reportedly defiant. “I removed the uteruses of one thousand women, and no one dared to say a word to me,” Zhang reports him as saying.

Meanwhile Mr. Jiang, the Deputy Minister responsible for petitions, said about Zhang’s forced abortion and uterine removal: “We not only have the right to do this, but we must do it this way.” Liu Dong Qing, a Family Planning Committee member, signed Zhang Wen Fang’s abortion form at the hospital. Zhang Li, one of the women who helped abduct Zhang, is now the Women’s Federation Director for the village.

Last month Zhang went again to the local authorities seeking an investigation, but she was severely beaten by police. “My knees were black and blue,” she said. One officer threatened her life, saying that someone had offered him money to kill her and silence her permanently.

Zhang grew distraught as she told her story, so Ling offered to pray for her. Zhang welcomed this and joined Ling in prayer, asking Jesus to guide her life and restore her hope. “Her entire tone and demeanor changed,” Ling said thankfully. “Her voice went from despair to joyful anticipation.”

Chai Ling asked Zhang what she hoped to do by coming forward, and she replied: “I want justice. I would like to get help. I am forever handicapped. My other child is like an orphan, without much support; I am now dependent on my aging mother. I would like to see the perpetrators receive justice by law. I would like to ensure that no more families ever have to go through what I have been through, to be butchered like this.”


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Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

African researchers warn early sexual activity increases risk of cancers

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

A report on rising cancer rates in Africa delivered at a conference in Namibia last week warned that oral contraceptives and engaging in sexual activity from a young age lead to an increased risk of breast and reproductive system cancers.

Researchers presented the "2014 Integrated Africa Cancer Fact Sheet & Summary Score Card" during the 8th Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer in Africa (SCCA) conference, held in Windhoek, Namibia from July 20 to 22, noted that cancer is a growing health problem in many developing countries and that breast and cervical cancer are the most common forms affecting African women.

The report said that sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) play a major role in reproductive system cancers and that young girls who engage in sexual activity risk getting, among other STDs, the human papilloma virus (HPV), some strains of which are linked to cervical cancer.

The report said although HPV infections are common in healthy women, they are usually fought off by the body’s immune system, with no discernible symptoms or health consequences.

The Cancer Association of South Africa points out that of the scores of HPV types, 14 of the more than 40 sexually transmitted varieties are considered "high risk" for causing serious illness, while two, HPV-16 and HPV-18, are linked to cervical cancer.

“Long-term use of oral contraceptives is also associated with increased risk [of cancer], and women living with HIV-AIDS are at increased risk of cervical cancer,” the report said.

Dr. Thandeka Mazibuko, a South African oncologist, told the conference attendees that when an 18-year-old is diagnosed with cervical cancer, “this means sex is an important activity in her life and she indulged from a young age.”

Mazibuko said the standard treatment for cancer of the cervix is seven weeks of radiation therapy.

“After the treatment they cannot have sex with their husbands or partners. They cannot bear children because everything has been closed up. Some may still have the womb but radiation makes them infertile,” Mazibuko said, according to a report in The Namibian.

Statistics from the Cancer Association of Namibia show that cases of cervical cancer have risen from 129 in 2005 to 266 in 2012.

The SCCA Conference theme was, "Moving forward to end Cervical Cancer by 2030: Universal Access to Cervical Cancer Prevention."

In his keynote address, host and Namibian President Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba urged African countries to help each other to expand and modernize health care delivery in the continent.

"Within the context of the post-2015 Development Agenda and sustainable development goals, the provision of adequate health care to African women and children must be re-emphasized," said the president, according to AllAfrica.

The Namibian leader urged mothers to breastfeed their children for at least six months as a measure to prevent breast cancer.


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Hilary White Hilary White Follow Hilary

Allow ‘lethal injection’ for poor to save on palliative care: Lithuanian health minister

Hilary White Hilary White Follow Hilary
By Hilary White

Euthanasia is a solution for terminally ill poor people who cannot afford palliative care and who do not want to “see their families agonize” over their suffering, Lithuania’s health minister said last week.

In an interview on national television, Minister Rimantė Šalaševičiūtė added that the Belgian law on child euthanasia ought to be “taken into account” as well. 

Šalaševičiūtė told TV3 News that Lithuania, a country whose population is 77 percent Catholic, is not a welfare state and cannot guarantee quality palliative care for all those in need of it. The solution, therefore, would be “lethal injection.”

“It is time to think through euthanasia in these patients and allow them to make a decision: to live or die,” she said.

Direct euthanasia remains illegal in the Balkan state, but activists tried to bring it to the table in 2012. A motion to drop the planned bill was passed in the Parliament in March that year in a vote of 75 to 14. Since then the country has undergone a change in government in which the far-left Social Democrats have formed the largest voting bloc.

Šalaševičiūtė is a member of Parliament for the Social Democrats, the party originally established in the late 19th century – re-formed in the late 1980s – from Marxist principles and now affiliated with the international Party of European Socialists and Socialist International.

Fr. Andrius Narbekovas, a prominent priest, lecturer, physician, bioethicist, and member of the government’s bioethics committee, called the suggestion “satanic,” according to Delfi.lt. He issued a statement saying it is the purpose of the Ministry of Health to “protect the health and life, instead of looking for ways to take away life.”

“We understand that people who are sick are in need of funds. But a society that declares itself democratic, should very clearly understand that we have to take care of the sick, not kill them,” he said.


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Islamists in Mosul mark Christian homes with an Arabic "N" for Nazarene.
Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D.

We must open wide our doors to Iraq’s Christians

Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D.
By Gualberto Garcia Jones J.D.

On July 18, the largest Christian community in Iraq, the Chaldean Catholics of Mosul, were given a grotesque ultimatum: leave your ancestral home, convert to Islam, or die.

All but forgotten by the 1.2 billion Catholics of the world, these last Christians who still speak Jesus’ native tongue of Aramaic and live in the land of Abraham and Jonah are being wiped out before our very eyes.

As a way of issuing a thinly-veiled threat, reminiscent of the Nazi persecution of the Jews, the Arabic letter “N” (for Nazarean) has been painted on the outside of the homes of all known Christians in Mosul.

These threats, issued by the fanatical Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) known for its bloodthirsty rampage of executions, have been taken very seriously by the several hundred thousand Christians in Mosul who have left with little more than the clothes they were wearing. 

At least most of these Christians were able to flee and find temporary protection among the Kurds in their semi-autonomous region.  However the Kurds do not have the resources to defend or shelter the Chaldean Christians for much longer.

On Monday, during an interview on Fox News, Republican U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, who recently joined with 54 other members of the House of Representatives in a letter to President Obama asking him to act to protect these communities, stated that while Iraqi President Maliki had sent military flights to Mosul to evacuate Shiite Muslims, the US has done nothing to protect the Chaldean Christians.  Rep. Wolf also stated emphatically that President Obama has done “almost nothing” about the genocide taking place.

The silence from the White House is deafening.  But the lack of leadership from the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in America has been shocking as well.

Nevertheless, the plight of these Iraqi Christians is beginning to be taken seriously.   This is due in large part to the heroic efforts of local Iraqi religious leaders like Chaldean Patriarch Sako, who has gone on a whirlwind tour of the world to alert us all of the plight of these Iraqi Christians.  In a statement demonstrating his character, he told the Christians of Iraq last week, “We are your shepherds, and with our full responsibility towards you we will stay with you to the end, will not leave you, whatever the sacrifices.”

Before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was launched there were approximately 1.5 to 2 million Christians living in Iraq.  Today, there are believed to be less than 200,000.  The numbers speak for themselves.

Now that the world is beginning to be aware of the genocide in Northern Iraq, many of us ask ourselves: what can we do?  As citizens and as Christians blessed to live in nations with relative peace and security, what can we do?

The answer is quite simple and unexpected.  Demand that our government and church pull its head out of the sand and follow France. Yes, France.  

Yesterday, in a heroic gesture of Christian solidarity that would make Joan of Arc proud, the government of France opened wide its doors to the persecuted Iraqi Christians.  

”France is outraged by these abuses that it condemns with the utmost firmness," Laurent Fabius, France's foreign minister, and Bernard Cazeneuve, France's interior minister, said in a joint statement on Monday.

"The ultimatum given to these communities in Mosul by ISIS is the latest tragic example of the terrible threat that jihadist groups in Iraq, but also in Syria and elsewhere, pose to these populations that are historically an integral part of this region," they added. "We are ready, if they wish, to facilitate their asylum on our soil.  We are in constant contact with local and national authorities to ensure everything is done to protect them.”

The French statement drives home three crucial elements that every government, especially the United States, should communicate immediately:

  1. Recognize the genocide and name the perpetrators and victims.

  2. Officially condemn what is happening in the strongest terms.

  3. Offer a solution that includes cooperation with local authorities but which leads by making solid commitments such as offering asylum or other forms of protection.

With regard to the Church, we should look to the Chaldean Patriarch and the Iraqi bishops who shared their expectations explicitly in an open letter to “all people of conscience in Iraq and around the world” to take “practical actions to assure our people, not merely expressions of condemnation.”  Noticeably, the last section of the letter from the Iraqi bishops, before a final prayer to God, is an expression of thanks to the Kurdish government, which has welcomed them not just with “expressions” of goodwill but, like France, with a sacrificial hospitality.

On Friday, July 25, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops did issue a statement, but unfortunately it lacked much in terms of leadership or solutions.  We should encourage our bishops to do better than that, be bolder and stronger for our persecuted brothers and sisters, name names and offer concrete sacrificial aid. In a word, be more like the French.

In 1553, Rome welcomed the Chaldean church into the fold of the Catholic Church.  Nearly 500 years later, Catholic Americans must find ways to welcome these persecuted people into our country, into our churches, and into our own homes if need be.

I say, I am with you St. Joan of Arc.   I am with you, France.  I am with you, Chaldeans!

Gualberto Garcia Jones is the Executive Director of the International Human Rights Group, a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC, that seeks to advance the fundamental rights to life, the natural family, and religious liberty through international law and international relations. 


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