China's "one child" policy has spawned maternal violence that ending with the execution of a woman found guilty of hiring a hit man to murder her own son so that she might have another child with her new husband.
Li Yingfang was recently sentenced to death by the Shaanxi Higher People's Court, reports the Shanghai Daily, after a lower court in 2007 had granted her the opportunity to instead serve a life sentence. The lower court had found that she suffered from depression caused by two abortions she had in order to avoid the population law. But due to new protests from family and friends of the victim, the higher court ordered her execution.
In 1997, Li, a bank clerk in northern China, gave birth to a son, Cao Yifan, before her husband passed away in 2002. The 36 year old remarried a man surnamed Hou in 2004, who also had a child from a previous marriage.
During her new marriage, Li was coerced into having two abortions by China's "one child" policy. The policy states that if both partners of a remarried couple have a child from a previous marriage, they are forbidden to have more children upon the threat of severe financial penalties.
Wanting to have a child with her new husband, Li paid a hit man named Wang Ruijie 70,000 yuan (US$10,238) to kill Hou's daughter. Wang's November 23, 2006 attack on the young girl failed, so Li turned her attention to her own son living with his grandmother who had taken custody of the boy after his father's death.
Li planned a meeting between herself, her son and Wang, who had rented a car. Wang drove the nine year old out to the country and, with a piece of cloth provided by Li, proceeded to strangle the boy before dumping his body on the roadside.
Both Li and Wang were given the death sentence but Wang was granted a two year reprieve – meaning he will spend his life in prison if he behaves well enough during the first two year. Both perpetrators have been ordered to pay the grandmother of Cao Yifan 65,000 yuan.
According to the Guardian, China's official media has suggested that the population policy may be reformed by the government after it released a survey revealing the majority of Chinese women want more than one child.
Jiang Fan, vice-minister of the National Family Planning Commission said, "Our research shows that 70.7% of women would like to have two or more babies."
Fan also noted the growing gender gap among new births, which is at 103-107 boys to every 100 girls, is a "very grave" problem.