A Chinese woman whose unborn child was forcibly aborted by local authorities has received an apology from officials in the Chinese city of Zhenping.
The apology came after a disturbing photograph of 23-year-old Feng Jianmei lying in her hospital bed with her aborted foetus next to her was distributed on social networking sites in China.
The foetus was aborted by a lethal injection into its head during the seventh month of pregnancy.
According to the US-based activist group All Girls Allowed , Ms Feng was forced to have the abortion because she already had one child.
A second child would break the country's one child policy. She was told to pay a fine of 40,000 yuan (£4,000), but was unable to afford it.
In a rare move, perhaps as a result of internet publicity about the case, the local government has acknowledged that the procedure was illegal because it was conducted beyond the six-month limit for abortions.
Three officials are understood to have been suspended following initial investigations.
China's Global Times newspaper claims to have spoken to Ms Feng's husband, Deng Jiyuan.
"The county government detained my wife in a rented house on May 30. She almost killed herself out of panic," Mr Deng told the newspaper.
In a separate interview with the All Girls Allowed activist group, Mr Deng described how five men forcibly gave Ms Feng an injection after making her sign an abortion agreement.
"At the hospital, they held her down. They covered her head with a pillow case. She could not do anything because they were restraining her."
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A statement released by the Zhenping county family planning bureau gave a different account.
It claimed that Ms Feng had not been held against her will and that she had agreed to the abortion in line with China's one child policy.
Under Chinese law, couples who wish to have more than one child must apply for permission from their local family planning bureau. Forms must be filled in and approved.
Officials say they approached Ms Feng with the forms in her third month of pregnancy.
It is not clear why she failed to fill in the forms, but it is thought she was later offered a deal: pay a fee of £4,000 to be allowed to keep the baby.
But Ms Feng and her husband were unable to pay the fee.
"They did not notify us until several days before the injection, when they asked us to bring 40,000 yuan before the deadline they set, which we failed to do," her husband was quoted as saying.
The disturbing photograph shows Ms Feng lying in her hospital bed. Her dead child is lying next to her.
It is thought the photo was taken by her cousin and posted online.
It was quickly distributed through social networking sites including Weibo, China's version of Twitter.
Blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng, who was allowed to travel to the United States in May, rose to prominence seven years ago for campaigning against forced abortions done in the name of the one child policy.