A Chinese lady who is not married but who wants to postpone having children has been unsuccessful in her attempt to have the court allow her to freeze her eggs. This highlights worries about the lack of technological choices available to Chinese individuals who want to delay having children.
In a landmark case of a Chinese woman fighting for her reproductive rights, Teresa Xu, now 34 years old, filed a lawsuit against a Beijing hospital in December 2019, accusing it of infringing upon her rights by refusing to freeze her eggs due to the fact that she was married. Xu is the plaintiff in this case.
It is difficult for healthy Chinese women to get access to birthing technologies that would allow them to defer having children. Only for the treatment of medical conditions, such as infertility or the preservation of a person’s fertility before they undergo certain treatments, are such procedures legal according to national regulations.
According to a copy of the decision that was verified by Reuters on Sunday, the Chaoyang District People’s Court in Beijing ruled last week that there was no clear law on the specific application of assisted reproductive technologies in China, but that they must be provided for medical purposes. The ruling was based on the fact that the court found that there was no clear law on the specific application of assisted reproductive technologies in China.
Xu said that the judgement from July 18 made her “furious” and that she intended to challenge the decision.
After receiving the verdict on Friday, she said in a video posted on the social media site WeChat that “It’s only a little and temporary setback.” “However, despite this, I continue to have faith that unmarried Chinese women’s reproductive rights will progress and improve.”
The judge ruled against Xu and rejected his whole claim.
Her appeal referenced two Chinese provinces that had lifted some hurdles for single women to acquire certain assisted birth technologies. Additionally, her challenge noted a declaration by the national authorities that China’s laws do not deny the right of birth for single women. However, the court determined that they do not prove that the Chinese health authority permits egg freezing for reasons other than medical necessity.
Xu went to the Beijing Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital in November 2018 with the intention of having her eggs frozen so that she could concentrate on advancing her profession as a writer specialising in topics related to gender equality, as she said when she initiated her case the following year.
According to the ruling made by the court, the hospital claimed that egg freezing presents a number of potential dangers to one’s health and that postponing birth or becoming a single parent may result in additional social issues. Any request to freeze eggs at the hospital, it was said, would be denied for the sole purpose of delaying motherhood.
On Monday, the hospital did not immediately reply to a request for comment that was made by Reuters.
Xu, a resident of the province of Heilongjiang in the northeastern region of China, reported that on her very first visit to the hospital for a checkup, the physician questioned her about her marital status and strongly recommended that she start a family as soon as possible rather than store her eggs in a freezer.
She said that on her second appointment, the doctor advised her that she could not continue any further with treatment.
Xu said that she had pondered travelling to illegal clinics in China but ultimately opted against the notion. She also mentioned that the cost of travelling outside of China for similar procedures was beyond her financial means.