A woman who tried for eight years until she was finally pregnant with her second child was accidentally given abortion pills by her doctor.
The news has stunned mother-of-one Zhang Xiaohui and her husband Liu Haoran, who both quit their jobs in order to try for a second child – and a much-anticipated sibling for their eight-year-old son.
The couple returned to their native Nanchang, capital of China’s eastern Jiangxi Province, and received uplifting news on 16th February when their doctor at Xinjian District People’s Hospital said they were pregnant with their second.
“We were over the moon,” Zhang, 31, said.
She explained: “I’m not in very good shape. I have anaemia and I take lots of supplements. We came back from Beijing prepared to have a second child.”
The doctor, named as Xiong Meihua, prescribed prenatal vitamins and folic acids for the expectant mum, and she also gave her a box of what was meant to be pills of the hormone progesterone.
Zhang said she immediately began bleeding the following day and sought out doctors at Jiangxi Maternal and Child Health Hospital who revealed she had actually been taking the ‘abortion pill’ mifepristone.
Zhang, who said she bled for a week, was referred back to Xinjian District People’s Hospital, which has advised her to intentionally miscarry instead of keeping her child because of the pills, which are said to be 95 percent effective in bringing about abortions if taken in the first 49 days of pregnancy.
Zhang said: “I didn’t read the box. I trusted the doctor.”
Doctor Xiong, who continues to work despite the scandal, was confronted by the family.
She claimed: “I admit my mistake. It was a typo and not intentional.”
She added: “I don’t even know you. Why would I harm you?”
The hospital has explained Xiong’s appearance on the rota by saying the facility is “understaffed”, promising to conduct a thorough investigation and to “discipline” the doctor accordingly.
Liu Haoran, Zhang’s husband, said: “We’re traumatised, especially my wife. The contrast was just too big – like Heaven and Earth.
“We were so happy – our whole family was – and then came the trauma. We’re all in pieces.
“What a disaster.”
A hospital spokesman said they had offered up to 20,000 RMB (2,270 GBP) in compensation to the couple, who rejected the payout and demanded 100,000 RMB (11,355 GBP).
The spokesman said the case involving over 100,000 RMB in compensation must go through a civil suit process, suggesting the couple would have to sue in order to have their demands met.