Teresa Xu’s legal fight to be able to freeze her eggs being single: “The deadline is urgent”

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After almost two years, Teresa Xu, the Single woman who sued a Beijing hospital for not allowing her to freeze her eggs has managed to have her case heard in court this Friday, in a rare legal challenge against the country’s restrictions on single women on reproductive health.

Teresa Xu has been waiting since December 2019 for her second hearing at the Chaoyang People’s Court in Beijing. It was then that he denounced the Beijing Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital at Capital Medical University, a public hospital that, following national law, prohibited him from freezing his eggs. Currently single women they can only resort to egg freezing in case of severe illness.

Should Xu win this legal battle, it could mark an important step for single women in China who want to access public services. However, unlike other countries such as the US, court decisions in China are not based on other legal precedents.

“From 2018 until now, three years have passed. My eggs are aging with me and the deadline is increasingly urgent “Xu told the media.

Demographic problem

While single women are prohibited from freezing eggs in order to have children in the future, China faces a demographic problem: the latest census data shows that population growth is slowing, while the proportion of older people is increasing. The number of newborns has decreased every year since 2016 y National statistics show that 12 million babies were born in 2020, 18% less than the 14.6 million in 2019.

For decades, China has instituted a “only child” policy. It eased restrictions slightly in 2015 to allow families to have two children, though that didn’t change the overall slowdown in population growth. That is why this year Beijing gave the go ahead for families to have a third child and said he will renew the policy to help families who want to have children.

Only married couples

However, some aspects of the system, such as linking reproductive health services and things like maternity benefits to the woman’s marital status, have made things difficult for many. China only allows married couples access to reproductive services and related benefits, and they must be able to prove their marital status with the license.

“I hope the signal you send over the need for population growth give single women the opportunity to be able to make their own decisions, “Xu told reporters in front of the Court.

Xu visited the hospital in November 2018. When she went to the doctor, she was urged to have a child instead of freezing her eggs. The doctor also asked to see her marriage license. In addition, the plaintiff said that her court hearing had been continuously delayed, in part due to the pandemic.

For all this, came to consider going abroad to freeze their eggs there, but said the cost of doing so, between $ 15,500 and $ 31,000, was not feasible. Now, your only option is for the court to give you the reason so that you have more options going forward.


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