Woman considers 8-month abortion to save husband's job
A woman in Beijing is considering an illegal abortion at 8 months because having the baby would violate China's restrictive birth policy. As a result, the woman's husband would lose his job as a police officer.
Members of the public have taken interest in the couple's situation and an online travel service has even reportedly offered the husband a job if he loses his government position. While the debate over whether employment in the public sector should be used to enforce the restrictive one-child birth policy has been relevant for quite some time, this case re-ignites it.
The 41-year-old woman, referred to as "Chen," said in a telephone interview on Monday that she and her husband feel pressured to abort their second child in a desperate effort to save her husband's job. She said:
"I'm fearful. If my husband believes I must abort the child, there's nothing I can do."
In addition, Chen worries that her case is drawing so much public attention that her husband might lose his job regardless of the abortion. She said:
"I am worried he would lose his job even after we lose the baby, if the situation gets messy."
When Chen first became unexpectedly pregnant, she and her husband hoped for a policy change that would enable them to have a second child. However, the pregnancy is in violation of the current rule.
Wen Xueping, a family planning official in Yunnan's Chuxiong prefecture, said that although the family will face repercussions for having the baby, they will not be forced to abort it. They face large fines and the loss of the husband's job. Wen said:
"No way will we force them to have an abortion, but there also is the suspicion that the couple wants to avoid the punishment for breaking the rules by stirring up public interest."
This case sheds light on critics' determination to end the one-child policy in China. Many say that taking away a family's livelihood, especially now that that they will have two children to raise, is simply immoral. Others, however, believe that the couple should have obeyed the one-child policy to start with.
Watch this video to learn more about China's one-child policy:
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