Interim Staff

The Vancouver Sun reported that Li Min Lai, a Chinese “family-planning manager” who forced an abortion on a worker who was seven months’ pregnant was denied refugee status in Canada.

Federal Court Justice Sandra Simpson said that Li’s actions constituted a “crime against humanity,” even though she was not motivated by cruelty and was just doing her job enforcing China’s one-child policy.

Li, 47, was the office manager of family planning for Chinese bus company Fushun. She told the refugee board that she was “very serious” in enforcing China’s one-child policy among the company’s female employees. She described her work as successful and highlighted a 2000 case where she camped out at a pregnant woman’s home every other day. Li told the employee and her husband that they would be fined and threatened the loss of their jobs if they had the child. She also noted that the child would not be registered with the household registry and would therefore be ineligible for a state education. When these threats did not succeed, Li warned that the woman would be arrested.

Simpson found that the refugee board was correct to conclude that Li “had ‘forced’ (the woman) to have the abortion using relentless and extreme pressure.” In her ruling, Simpson said: “It is clear from her own evidence that with her relentless, and highly abusive, tactics she forced pregnant women … to have abortions.”

Judge Simpson upheld a 2004 refugee board decision that said coercive abortions violated the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, which is incorporated into Canada’s Immigration Act.

Campaign Life Coalition national organizer Mary Ellen Douglas applauded the decision and said she hoped it will help bring to light the injustice of China’s one-child policy.