Editor’s Note: There has been intense debate in China over a controversial ban on single women freezing their eggs. Can single women exercise reproduction rights? Share your views by emailing [email protected]
Most Chinese single women cannot legally have their eggs frozen, according the current rule that “single women cannot have assisted reproductive technology-related surgeries.” I think the regulation is good because it could prevent illegal human egg trade.
Besides, women who give birth outside of marriage tend to be more disadvantaged than their married counterparts, both before and after the birth. Unmarried mothers generally have lower incomes, lower education levels, and are more likely to be dependent on welfare assistance compared with married mothers, which means they will find it hard to take good care of their kids.
Lu Libing and his pregnant wife, Mu, pose for pictures at their home in Ganzhou, Jiangxi province, March 13, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]
It is justified to set some standards to limit single women’s right to have babies because it is more likely that negative influences will affect babies who are brought up by unmarried mothers? Children born to unmarried mothers are more likely to grow up in a single-parent household, experience unstable living arrangements, live in poverty and have socio-emotional problems.
If we have no rules to restrain single women’s freedom to have babies, this could possibly ‘encourage’ more single woman to have relations with married men and give birth. The prospect of women being able to give birth on their own is very threatening to the moral order.
An employee demonstrates the egg extraction process in a lab at the e-Stork Reproductive Center in Hsinchu, northern Taiwan, Aug 8, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]
Reproduction is a basic right that each woman should enjoy, but the current family planning law says that only a couple is entitled to give birth. I think we should change the law to “each woman, married or not, is entitled to have babies.”
There are many obstacles to stop unmarried women from exercising their reproductive rights. For example, an unmarried pregnant woman will find it very difficult to be hospitalized without a marriage certificate when it is time to deliver a child.
File photo of a doctor checking frozen embryos contained in nitrogen cylinders at Luoyang Central Hospital, affiliated with Zhengzhou University in Luoyang city, Central China’s Henan province, on Dec 3, 2014. [Photo/IC]
Why can’t women decide on their own whether or not they want to have children? Now a rising number of women would like to be single, and it is a pressing issue to secure the reproduction rights of these women who don’t want get married but still want the happiness of “being a mother.”
Cancer survivor Brianne Byrne had some of her eggs frozen for the future before she started undergoing chemo and radiation treatments. She is shown here in the Egg Lab at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield where her frozen eggs are stored. [Photo/IC]