Beijing — Nearly two years later, an unmarried woman in Beijing sought the right to freeze eggs in court on Friday in a rare legal objection to national restrictions on unmarried women in reproductive health. His case is being heard.
Teresa Xu has been waiting for her second hearing at the Chaoyang People’s Court in Beijing since December 2019. She is suing Beijing Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital at Capital Medical College, a public hospital that prohibits her from freezing eggs, citing domestic law.
Xu’s victory could be an important step for unmarried women in China who want access to the public interest. However, unlike the United States, Chinese court decisions do not rely on priority.
“Three years have passed since 2018, my eggs are growing with me, and the deadlines are getting tighter,” Xu, 33, said.
The latest census data shows that while population growth is slowing, the proportion of older people is increasing. The number of newborn babies has been declining every year since 2016. According to national data, 12 million babies will be born in 2020, which is 18% less than 14.6 million in 2019.
Beijing said it would respond by allowing families to have a third child and would renew policies to support families who want to have children.
For decades, China has implemented a “one child” policy. In 2015, restrictions were eased slightly to allow families to have two children, but the overall slowdown in population growth remained unchanged.
Still, some aspects of the system, such as linking assisted reproductive services and maternity benefits to women’s marriage status, make it difficult for some. China only allows couples access to benefits related to fertility services and must be able to prove their marriage status with a license.
“I hope this signal about the need for population growth gives single women a chance to make their own choices,” Xu told reporters before the court.
Xu had gone to the hospital in November 2018. When she went to the doctor, she was urged to give birth instead of freezing the eggs. The doctor also demanded that he see his marriage licence.
Mr Xu said court hearings had been continuously postponed, partly because of the pandemic.
She was looking to go abroad easily, but spending between $15,500 and $31,000 was not possible.
Wu reported from Taipei, Taiwan.
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Women sued for the right to freeze eggs in Beijing
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