Congressman Joe Pitts (PA-16) released the following statement today regarding reports that Chinese officials are holding a Uyghur ethnic minority woman, Arzigul Tursun, and plan to force her to undergo an abortion:
"I call on the Chinese Government to immediately intervene in order to stop any forced abortion from taking place." Congressman Pitts said. "Though we know Chinese authorities regularly use forced abortions to enforce its coercive population control program, carrying out this brutal procedure with the world watching Arzigul Tursun's case would display an utter disregard for any notion of human rights by the Chinese authorities. The Chinese Government should immediately release her from custody and allow her to carry her child to term."
On Thursday, November 13, Radio Free Asia and the Uyghur Human Rights Project reported that Chinese authorities tried to pressure Arzigul Tursun, a Uyghur ethnic minority, who is 26 weeks pregnant with her third child, to have an abortion. When she refused and fled her home, authorities interrogated and threatened her relatives. Authorities took her into custody on November 11. According to the reports, the authorities forced a relative to sign a document authorizing the abortion. The abortion procedure was originally scheduled for Thursday, November 13.
Tursun escaped the hospital in order to avoid the forced abortion. After searching the homes of her friends and relatives, Chinese authorities captured her again, and are holding her now at a different hospital.