An Old Peasant Couple who were Ligated for Three Times

WRIC                           December 23, 2010



Li Yuanlong, the volunteer of WRIC, was registering beneficiaries of “Chinese Rural Baby Girl Assistance Program” in a family in Zhuchang Town, Bijie City, Guizhou Province. He saw a 7-year-old girl was with an over 50-year -old women, he thought the little girl was her granddaughter because the girl resembles the woman. But when the volunteer asked, the elderly woman said she was the little girl’s mother. The woman said that the daughter was born after she was ligated twice and the birth of the little girl caused her husband to get ligated.


It was reported on the website “Women’s Rights in China” last month that a couple in Zhenxiong County, Yunnan Province, adjacent to Bijie, was arrested for the third ligation because of the head of ligation task of the township. Li Yuanlong did not expect to face another victim who was also ligated three times right now so he came to the woman’s home. He heard the story about the couple being ligated, fined, and abandoned by the family planning staffs.



The woman, Zhao Yuanxiang, was 54 years old and her husband, Sun Lianghua, was 57 years old. Facing the camera, the elderly couple told the tragic experience of being ligated three times.


Mrs. Zhao said that she was ligated for the first time giving birth in 1989. But she was pregnant again after nine years later. She gave birth to other two children and was arrested by the family planning staffs to get the second ligation. After the ligation, she was extremely weak, but the family planning staffs abandoned her in a woods on the way home. Fortunately, she was helped by passersby and taken back to her home. Nobody expected that Mrs. Zhao was pregnant again just nine years later and gave birth to the youngest daughter in 2003. Half a year after giving birth to the fourth child, the family planning staffs did not catch Zhao this time. They grabbed her husband Mr. Sun for ligation in June of this year who was nearly 50 years old then. A list of the ligation was still there and Li Yuanlong saw it.


Zhao also said that her stomach became astonishingly big the year before the ligation of her husband, she thought she was pregnant again but it was a cyst. After a surgery, two nine-pound tumors were taken out from her body and she recovered finally. We don’t know if the cyst is natural or caused by the previous surgeries.


As early as 1987, after the birth of a second child, Sun Lianghua’s family was fined by family planning office. Sun Lianghua found an old receipt which showed that the date was “April 11, 1987” and the person who was fined was “Sun Lianghua in Zhu Changcun Group 10”. The fine was caused by the “second child and more children’s fee” and the fine was 30 Yuan. The seal of receipt was “Special Seal for Family Planning of Zhuchang Commune in Zhuchang District, Bijie County”.


It was said that the original fine was 100 yuan. It was preferential as only 30 yuan actually because the people who were issued such fines paid in advance. A penalty receipt of “violation to family planning” on August 14, 1992 showed that Sun Lianghua was fined another 50 yuan. On July 23, 2003, Sun Lianghua was forcibly charged for 200 yuan as “fee of social support” because of her youngest daughter. If he did not pay the fine, the daughter would not be registered as a resident. There was another 200 yuan fine, but the receipt could not be found. Sun Lianghua also had suffered from cirrhosis, ascites, hyperthyroidism, emphysema and other diseases a few years ago. It is no wonder that Sun Lianghua’s face was black, yellow and thin. Zhao Yuanxiang said that Sun Lianghua’s health had been down since the ligation in 2003.


“My husband has never worked since my youngest daughter was born. We are peasants, we must work, but all labor in the field is done by this slow body of mine.” Zhao said.


“The doctor said, Sun Lianghua’s diseases should be cured in hospital in Guiyang, capital city of the province but my family didn’t have enough money to buy food. We have no way to cure him except for my husband enduring by himself.”Zhao said miserably.


According to the regulations, there should be several people in the family who can get the subsistence allowance. Zhao said her family had no relatives or friends in government, so only Sun Lianghua got the subsistence allowance which was a veritable “little guarantee” consisting of only 80 yuan per quarter (three months) (equivalent to about US$13). Li Yuanlong asked “Unsuccessful ligations have made you and your husband suffered, damaged you both extremely, and cost you a lot of money. Have you ever complained to government?” They said “Yes, many times but to no effect”. At 11 am. of December 28, Li Yuanlong learned more about Zhao’s family by phone.


The family’s first child, named Sun Chenglong, is a disabled person with hunchback and deafness. He had been 28 years old but no one wanted to marry him because of poverty and disability. On April of this year, he went to Xiamen, Fujian Province, where he wanted to work at. No factory was willing to accept him. “Nobody knows where he is now, dead or alive, we don’t know.” Zhao said on the phone.


Zhao’s second daughter, named Sun Chenghui, was only 17 years old this year. She finished the 1st grade course at Zhuchang Middle School last year then she stopped studying at school. She couldn’t bear to make her parents embarrassed when her tuition and fees charged her parents a thousand yuan for per semester. Twenty days ago, she went to Xiamen to work. Sun Chenghui’s younger brother, Sun Chenggui, finished second year courses in junior middle school last year. He stayed in the school for only a few days this semester. When the teacher asked for money, he left the school. Sun Chenghui was married and she told Zhao that Sun Chenggui might live with her. She and her husband would raise him to continuing his study. However, 14-year-old Sun Chenggui said that his sister’s family finances was also in dire straits too. He would not want to drag them down so he will “raise himself”.


The youngest daughter named Sun Chengqiong, whose mother was pregnant and born her after being ligated twice, the one who caused her 50-year-old father’s ligation, had been in the first grade as a excellent student with her homework and test scores always more than eighty or ninety. Zhao Yuanxiang said the daughter was very diligent. Every dawn, she asked her mother if it is time to get up. She was always afraid to be late to school.
On the 23rd, Li Yuanlong once asked: “Sun Chengqiong, is your grade good? Have you ever received any certificates?” Her mother proudly rushed to answer: “The award has not yet been won, but she told me that many students have been beaten by the teacher because of poor grades or homework. But she has never been beaten by the teacher because her homework has always been completed and her grades are not bad in class”

Her family was in very difficult situation that she constantly worry about having no ability to afford her family including the daughter’s study once Zhao could not work anymore sometime. Then Li Yuanlong had to comfort her, “You try to let her study first. I will think of some ways. I will write out the difficulties of your family and see if anyone wants to help Sun Chengqiong.”

Sun Chengqiong’s performance is good, and her family is a serious victim of family planning. Li Yuanlong hopes that this article will play a certain role and cause people to pay attention to such poor families.


The old couple told Li Yuanlong, the volunteer of WRIC, that they were forced to be ligated, and the painful experience of fines, and showed all kinds of fine receipts. Photos: WRIC



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