Beijing, China (LifeNews.com) -- Chinese officials are coming under heavy criticism from a leading pro-life member of Congress who is upset they are considering forcing a woman who is six months pregnant to have an abortion. China strictly enforces its one-child family planning policy and uses forced abortions and sterilizations to do so.
What separates the case of Arzigul Tursun from others is that the woman is 26 weeks into her pregnancy and the abortion would very likely cause her health problems.
Tursun is also a Muslim Uighur woman and Chinese family planning officials don't normally enforce the one-child law as rigorously with minorities as they do on people of Chinese decent.
Tursun is currently at the Municipal Watergate Hospital in the extreme northwestern part of China and the baby would be her third child if she is allowed to complete the pregnancy.
Her husband says officials in their village of Yining learned of the pregnancy and they warned the couple that their property would be confiscated if Tursun did not have an abortion.
According to McClatchy newspapers, the case has attracted the attention of Rep. Chris Smith, a New Jersey Republican congressman who is a leading pro-life advocate.
Smith has written to Zhou Wenzhong, the China ambassador to the United States, and demanded that the "nightmare of a forced abortion" not be used in Tursun's case.
"The Chinese Government is notorious for this barbaric practice, but to forcibly abort a woman while the world watches in full knowledge of what is going on would make a mockery of its claim that the central government disapproves of the practice," Smith said, according to the news service.
The couple already have two children and they returned to their village when they learned their home and property would be confiscated.
"We considered our two girls," the husband told McClatchy. "If the house and properties were taken away, how would they live? So my wife came back home and went to the hospital."
Forced abortions in China has become an issue in the United States as incoming president Barack Obama is likely to fund the UNFPA, a United Nations agency that has been involved in the forced abortions there.