By John-Henry Westen
  BEIJING, November 18, 2008 ( – Arzigul Tursun, the Muslim Uyghur woman who was caught fleeing from authorities while more than six months pregnant was released from China’s northwestern Xinjiang region where she was supposed to undergo a forced abortion. One-child policy enforcers had her under guard at the hospital intending to abort her third child against her will.  However international pressure has resulted in her release without having her unborn child killed.
  US Congressmen Chris Smith and Joe Pitts, both of whom worked to mount international pressure commented, “Today’s report that Arzigul Tursun, a Muslim Uyghur woman from China’s Xinjiang region, has apparently been released from custody is great news for both her family and women throughout China.  The decision to spare Arzigul and her child from the tragedy of forced abortion is, we hope, a sign that more women in China will be saved from this grave human rights abuse.
“We understand that the local population-control committee chief stated that the abortion would have compromised Arzigul Tursun’s health. We know that abortion threatens women’s physical and mental health, and we further recognize that abortion always destroys the life of a child. There are always two victims in every abortion, and we are relieved that this abortion did not take place.
“As Members of Congress, we continue to urge the US government to do everything possible to end human rights abuses in China, including withholding funds from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) until they divest themselves from providing support to the agency that carries out China’s abusive population control program.”
  Smith (R-NJ) and Pitts (R-PA), both members of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, have vowed to continue to carefully follow Arzigul’s case to help ensure that she and her family do not suffer any direct or subtle forms of retribution for her courage in fighting to save her child.
  In the last few days the two congressmen pressed Chinese officials to release Arzigul and to allow her to keep her baby. Smith also raised concerns directly with Zhou Wenzhong, Chinese ambassador to the United States and Clark Randt, U.S. ambassador to China.


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