Huang Xihua, deputy to the National Peoples Congress and deputy secretary-general of Huizhou Municipal Government of Guangdong Province, also took note of the news. She had long been concerned about family planning and had called for the full opening of second births, suggested abolishing birth restrictions and the full opening of birth policy.
This year, one of her suggestions is to focus on safeguarding the reproductive rights of unmarried women, calling for the abolition of any policy that discriminates against unmarried births and the full protection of the legitimate rights and interests of children born out of wedlock, including the unconditional registration of children born out of wedlock.
Huang Xihua, deputy to the National Peoples Congress and deputy secretary-general of Huizhou Municipal Government, Guangdong Province
After the modernization of a country, there is almost no other way to increase the fertility rate so far. In addition to reducing the cost of female reproduction and introducing public measures, what we really need to do is to give women more autonomy, break the traditional male power structure and recognize the legitimate rights of children born out of wedlock. However, Huang stressed that the proposal to protect the reproductive rights of unmarried women is not to encourage unmarried reproduction, but mainly to protect women who have the ability and willingness to raise their children independently from the legal level, and to enjoy the rights and benefits of reproduction fairly.
Subjects of reproductive rights do not distinguish between married and unmarried
Huang told Red Star News that the reason for the proposal was that Chinese law protected womens reproductive rights, and the subjects of reproductive rights did not distinguish between married and unmarried. However, some local laws and regulations, department rules and regulations on unmarried women to exercise reproductive rights to make all kinds of punishments or restrictions.
She pointed out that at present, there are some family planning regulations of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government which clearly stipulate that social maintenance fees should be levied on the acts of illegitimate childbearing. For example, Article 46 of the Guangdong Provincial Regulations on Population and Family Planning stipulates that if a second child is born without marriage registration, the social support fee shall be levied twice as much as the base amount of per capita disposable income in the previous year.
In the Regulations on Human Assisted Reproduction promulgated by the former Ministry of Health, it is also stipulated that Artificial Assisted Reproduction Technology is prohibited for couples and single women who do not conform to the provisions of the national population and family planning laws and regulations. Huang said that for physiological reasons, unmarried women need to use ART if they want to have children independently. This regulation actually restricts single women to exercise their reproductive rights by using artificial assisted reproduction technology such as sperm bank and frozen eggs. The above provisions not only have no legal basis, but also conflict with the current laws in China.
In reality, women do not want or fail to get married, but want to have their own children, or have to have children out of wedlock, Huang said. However, at present, all parts of our country impose social support fees on unmarried reproductive behavior and restrict unmarried women to use artificial assisted reproductive technology, essentially requiring children to be born on the premise of marriage, that is, depriving unmarried people of their reproductive rights. Therefore, the relevant provisions on levying social support fees for unmarried births and restricting unmarried womens births should be abolished.
Marriage Law: Children born out of wedlock enjoy the same rights as children born in wedlock
For the subject of reproductive rights, whether married or unmarried, Huang also listed specific legal provisions.
She pointed out that article 51 of the Law on the Protection of Womens Rights and Interests stipulates that women have the right to bear children in accordance with the relevant provisions of the State and the freedom not to bear children; Article 25 of the Marriage Law also stipulates that children born out of wedlock enjoy the same rights as children born out of wedlock, and no one can harm or discriminate against them. In addition, Article 17 of the Population and Family Planning Law stipulates that citizens have the right to bear children. Huang Xiaohua believes that the scope of this citizenship clearly includes single women.
It can be seen that the subject of reproductive rights is not limited to married couples, including both married couples and citizens who have not married. She said.
Huang Xihua told Red Star News that there are only some principled and vague provisions on the reproductive rights of unmarried women in Chinas legislation, but as long as the public interests of society and other peoples interests are harmed, the part that the law does not restrict or prohibit is peoples free space.
Stone of the Other Hills: Giving Women Fuller Autonomy
Huang also listed the policies of other countries on unmarried women with children in her own recommendations. She said that illegitimate births are common in many countries around the world, and cited the fact that Jobs, the founder of Apple, was born out of wedlock.
Many countries not only do not punish unmarried mothers, but also introduce some measures to protect the rights and interests of unmarried mothers and children born out of wedlock. For example, in the UK, unmarried mothers can easily apply for government subsidies in the Public Service without any threshold restrictions.
She also mentioned that women in Nordic countries have a lower marriage rate, but maintain a higher fertility rate. The main reason is that these countries are more tolerant of illegitimate births, and the government provides generous parenting benefits, so that many single women are willing and able to bear and raise children independently.
Huang Xihua believes that with the improvement of womens education and career development, more and more professional women are unwilling or unable to marry, and the marriage rate in various countries is decreasing year by year. For example, in Japan, more and more women are unwilling to marry, because in traditional family life, if they marry and have children, women often have to quit their jobs and take full-time responsibility for housework, which is unwilling of many professional women. Marriage rates in Japan have dropped to 70% in recent years, and there are more and more leftovers in big cities in China.
It is unreasonable that singles cannot legally have children if they are punished for having children out of wedlock. If the proportion of unmarried women reaches 30% and no children are born, then even if 70% of married women have two children on average, the total fertility rate is only 1.4.
After the modernization of a country, there is almost no other way to increase the fertility rate so far. In addition to reducing the cost of female reproduction and introducing public measures, what we really need to do is to give women more autonomy, break the traditional male power structure and recognize the legitimate rights of children born out of wedlock.
Specific recommendations: unconditionally registering children born out of wedlock
She told Red Star News about an unmarried child she had helped. At that time, the girls boyfriend was a foreigner, and his boyfriend disappeared after pregnancy. At that time, the girl had planned to go to the hospital to kill the baby, but was told that if the baby was aborted, she would not be able to reproduce, so she had to give birth to the baby. Because of unmarried childbirth, children born will face a series of problems, such as not being able to go to household registration and not being able to go to school normally.
Therefore, in order to protect the reproductive rights of unmarried women, she put forward three specific suggestions: including the suggestion that the Ministry of Justice should review the provisions of the Regulations on Population and Family Planning on the collection of social maintenance fees in various localities, and revoke or amend the normative documents on the collection of social maintenance fees for unmarried children. It is suggested that the State Health and Health Commission revise the Code of Human Assisted Reproduction issued by the former Ministry of Health (No. 176 of Health Education ) and delete the phrase prohibiting the implementation of human assisted reproductive technology for couples and single women who do not conform to the provisions of the national population and family planning laws and regulations. It is suggested that the Ministry of Public Security abolish any policy that discriminates against unmarried births and fully protect the legitimate rights and interests of children born out of wedlock, including unconditionally registering children born out of wedlock.
Huang Xiaohua also took this suggestion into consideration, and some people would think that it is encouraging women to have children without marriage. However, she stressed that the proposal to protect the reproductive rights of unmarried women is not to encourage unmarried reproduction, but mainly to ensure that women who have the ability and willingness to raise their children independently and fairly enjoy the rights and benefits of reproduction from the legal level.