- Title: Unmarried Chinese woman sues hospital over refusal to freeze eggs
- Date: 23rd December 2019
- Summary: BEIJING, CHINA (DECEMBER 23, 2019) (REUTERS) PEOPLE LINING UP IN FRONT OF COURT TERESA XU GETTING OUT OF CAR EXTERIOR OF BEIJING CHAOYANG DISTRICT PEOPLE'S COURT XU MAKING PHONE CALL GUARD AND PEOPLE OUTSIDE OF COURT (SOUDNBITE) (Mandarin) 31-YEAR-OLD UNMARRIED CHINESE WOMAN, TERESA XU, SAYING: "First of all, I think that the technology of egg freezing and relevant resources in China are actually not known by many single women, or the whole society is still not aware of it. Firstly, I hope more people will be able to find information about egg freezing. For some single women, this might be a solution to anxiety or stress. I also hope that the society can change its views or stereotypes towards single female childbearing." XU AND HER FRIEND WALKING INTO COURT EXTERIOR OF DISTRICT COURT AND CHINESE FLAG JOURNALISTS WAITING AT THE GATE XU WALKING OUT (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) 31-YEAR-OLD UNMARRIED CHINESE WOMAN, TERESA XU, SAYING: "I personally feel that being able to arrive at this stage is already a sort of win. No matter what the final result from the court will be, I still want to do some follow-up (on this issue)." XU SURROUNDED BY JOURNALISTS (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) 31-YEAR-OLD UNMARRIED CHINESE WOMAN, TERESA XU, SAYING: "I feel that the argument between two sides was actually quite intense, and the lawyer of the other side is also very professional. For me I didn't feel like the fact that I was at court as an individual. Because we've seen some online comments on this case and stories shared by others, and I felt like I was standing there with the weight of many other single women's expectations (on my shoulders)." EXTERIOR OF COURT/PEOPLE PASSING BY
- Embargoed: 6th January 2020 10:13
- Keywords: China female rights China marriage law egg frozen human rights
- Location: BEIJING, CHINA
- City: BEIJING, CHINA
- Country: China
- Topics: Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA001BB72R0N
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:An unmarried Chinese woman filed a suit against a hospital on Monday (December 23) for rejecting her request to undergo a medical procedure to freeze her eggs due to her marital status, in China's first legal challenge of a woman fighting for her reproductive rights.
According to China's laws on human assisted reproduction, only married couples can use such health services, and they must be able to prove their marital status by showing a marriage license.
Teresa Xu, 31, visited the Beijing Obstetrics and Gynaecology Hospital at Capital Medical University in November 2018, wanting to freeze her eggs while she focused on her career as a writer on gender issues.
A woman's eggs deteriorate in quality as she ages, presenting obstacles to conception among older women. Through a medical procedure, a woman's eggs can be removed from her ovaries and frozen for use at a later time.
Xu, from northeastern Heilongjiang province, said on her first visit to the hospital for a checkup, the doctor asked about her marital status and urged her to have a child now instead of freezing her eggs. Upon her second visit, the doctor told her she could not proceed any further.
When asked by Reuters to comment, the hospital declined, saying it could not speak to international media.
China's rapid economic growth has created the conditions for single women to become financially independent, but the country's policies and medical industry have not necessarily kept pace.
(Production: Wu Huizhong, Florence Lo, Irene Wang, Fang Nanlin)
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