BEIJING, August 26, 2004 ( – 29-year-old Ma Weihua was reported to have been forced by Chinese police to have an abortion last February, shortly after her arrest for smuggling drugs. She was transporting 1.6 kg of heroin for a friend and is now facing a possible death sentence.  During a routine physical examination in prison, doctors found that Weihua was 50 days pregnant. In Chinese law, being a mother – like being under age – mitigates an accused woman’s punishment. The amount of heroin she was carrying, under China’s draconian criminal code, was enough for her to incur capital punishment. Weihua wanted to keep her baby, but anti-drug police signed a consent form on her behalf authorizing the abortion, so that the full weight of the law would fall on the woman.  jmo