A Chinese woman who is 8 months pregnant claims she has been ordered to have an abortion by her employer, a government-owned institution. The woman, who is surnamed Zhong but does not wish to provide her full name, is a resident of Guangdong Province in Southern China. According to Sixth Tone, a Chinese online news group, Zhong was told that if she does not obey the order to abort, she will be fired. Her husband, who also works for a government-owned institution, was reportedly handed the same ultimatum.
Zhong and her husband each have one child from previous marriages. China recently replaced its one-child policy with a two-child policy, and the Zhongs thought they would be allowed a child together.
“We thought we had met the new criteria to have a child,” Zhong said, “and that if we didn’t take immediate action, we might never be able to conceive a baby again.”
Sixth Tone reports:
Elsewhere in China, remarried couples can have one child, regardless of the number of children they’ve had in previous marriages, or two children if the couple has one or no children from previous marriages.
But unlike other provinces in China, Guangdong does not currently have similar laws for remarried couples.
Zhong told Sixth Tone she feels trapped and anxious about the ultimatum. “I can’t give up on this child, as I’m almost 40,” she said, but “it wouldn’t be easy for us to find jobs again given our ages.”
As reported by National Right to Life News, Reggie Littlejohn, President of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, sees the story as a continuation of China’s long history of forced abortions…
The Chinese Communist propaganda machine made a big deal out of its shift to a Two-Child Policy, announcing that they had “abandoned” the One-Child Policy. I immediately stated that this minor modification would not end coercion, and now the proof is beginning to leak out… [The Zhongs] are brave indeed to stand up to the intense government pressure to abort at eight months or both lose their jobs.
Zhong is reportedly due to give birth on September 10.