An international outcry has erupted after news broke of a Chinese woman who is considering having an abortion at eight months because she was told her husband could lose his job as a police officer if she goes through with the birth.
The Associated Press (AP) is reporting on the story coming out of China where the country’s mandatory one-child-only policy has put a couple in danger of losing either their livelihood, their baby, or both.
The 41 year-old woman, known only as Chen, said in a telephone interview with the AP on Monday that they were under pressure to abort the child in order to keep her husband’s job with local police secure.
“I’m fearful,” Chen said. “If my husband believes I must abort the child, there’s nothing I can do.”
She was also nervous about all of the public attention her case was drawing which could cause a backlash against the family. “I am worried he would lose his job even after we lose the baby, if the situation gets messy.”
The couple was hoping for a policy change from the government which has indicated a desire to ease the draconian family planning program that has wreaked havoc on the nation’s demographics due to low birth rates. But before any changes could come about, Chen found herself unexpectedly pregnant earlier this year in violation of the law.
A local family planning official in Yunnan’s Chuxiong prefecture, Wen Xueping, said the couple will not be forced to abort but that one of the consequences of having the baby will be the loss of her husband’s job.
He admitted that his office was receiving a lot of phone calls from the public about the case which has gone viral on China’s social media.
“No way will we force them to have an abortion,” Wen said. “But there also is the suspicion that the couple wants to avoid the punishment for breaking the rules by stirring up public interest.”
In other words, the couple IS being forced to abort, just not being physically hauled into the doctor’s office and forced into the procedure as has been done thousands of times before in this nation.
Thankfully, the public is coming to the couple’s aid. According to a state-owned news website, a man named James Liang, who serves as senior executive of the web travel service known as CTrip has offered the man a job in Yunnan if he loses his position on the police force.
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