She said, "Disappointing their superiors by failing to meet targets has serious career consequences, whereas violating the rights of ordinary citizens, an occasional international scandal notwithstanding, results only in temporary suspension or demotion. The understanding is that local officials do whatever dirty work is necessary to keep the numbers right and in turn their bosses look after their interests."
China's population control program generally limits couples in urban areas to one child and those in rural areas to two if the first is a girl. Parents in cities may have second babies if the husband and wife are both only children. The policy has resulted in many reports of authorities carrying out forced abortions and sterilizations, as well as accounts of infanticide. It has led to a dramatic gender imbalance because of the Chinese preference for sons.
Women who do not have birth permits typically must pay fines to give birth. Otherwise, officials may forcibly abort their babies.
"These social compensation fees have become a vital component of local officials' income, covering overtime, bonuses, pensions and travel expenses," Sheehan wrote. "Officials lose points for every out-of-quota birth in their area and earn cash bonuses for every abortion and sterilisation they enforce."
CANCER SURVIVOR ENJOYS DAUGHTER AFTER REJECTING ABORTION -- British mother Lyndsey Crowder is enjoying life with her 4-year-old daughter after refusing an abortion while she had life-threatening cancer.
In late 2007, Crowder learned she was pregnant, only to find out weeks later she had Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system, according to The Daily Mail. She and her husband Nick already had suffered the stillbirth of a daughter and miscarriages of twins.
Physicians told her she might have only weeks to live and offered abortion and chemotherapy among her options. They told Crowder they did not know how pregnancy would affect her health or what effect the chemo might have on her unborn baby, The Daily Mail reported Aug. 1. She underwent eight rounds of chemotherapy.
"I thought, I can deal with the cancer but I cannot lose another baby," Crowder said, according to the newspaper. "I just knew I would do whatever it took to get that child into the world. The rest was in God's hands."
She said, "To my mind there was no choice. But I knew I had to give the baby a chance.
"I had scan after scan to check on the baby and even though everything looked fine it wasn't until she was born and I saw her that I could believe she'd be okay."
After the delivery of Sidney Rose by Caesarean section at 34 weeks, an emergency scan showed the cancer had spread throughout Crowder's body. She received more chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant.
Crowder, 34, has been in remission for 30 months.
MEDICAL ACADEMY IMPLICATED IN DUMPING OF BABIES -- A medical academy reportedly is behind the dumping of the bodies of nearly 250 unborn children in the Ural Mountains of western Russia.
An employee of the Urals State Medical Academy in Ekaterinburg told police the school routinely had dumped the bodies of unborn babies, according to a July 31 report on the website of RT, an English language news channel that reports on Russia. The employee said 10 barrels of fetal remains were dumped in May in addition to four barrels containing 248 bodies that were discovered recently. The location of the 10 barrels of bodies has yet to be learned, RT reported.
In searching academy property, police found an agreement between it and a waste disposal company operated by the Ekaterinburg administration. Academy workers said barrels of unborn babies' bodies were placed on the waste company's truck to be taken to a forest for dumping, according to RT.
Several hospitals supplied Urals State Medical Academy with fetal remains for research, LifeNews.com reported.
Compiled by Tom Strode, Erin Roach and Diana Chandler of Baptist Press. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress ) and in your email ( baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).
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