Wuhan may fine out-of-wedlock childbirth
Unmarried mothers and mistresses who give birth may have to pay a 80,000 yuan (USD13,000) fine, the Chinese city of Wuhan says Friday.
According to Article 26 of a draft city ordinance published by the capital city of Hubei province, “Those who give birth and fail to provide valid identification from her partner,” or who “knowingly bear the child of someone that has a spouse,” must pay a social fostering fee in compliance with the provincial population and family planning laws.
The new regulation has been widely interpreted by Chinese as a penalty on unmarried mothers and mistresses as penalty for their out-of-wedlock childbirth, as ‘Social Fostering Fee’ is a very common measure in China to deter the birth of a second child under the current One-child policy.
Experts say the current Hubei Provincial Family Planning Regulations allows the government to collect three times the local average annual disposable income as the ‘social fostering fee’. Statistics show that on average, residents in Wuhan made 27,000 yuan in 2012, which means unmarried mothers and mistresses may be subject to a 80,000-yuan bill.
A web poll launched Sunday by People’s Daily Online finds that among the 4,127 web users that participated, only 18.4 percent are supportive of the new regulation. 12.9 percent believe it may result in an increase in abortion and child abandonment. 23.1 percent think it is unfair to solely hold women responsible for the out-of-wedlock childbirth. 45.7 percent regard the fine as “a prohibitive measure targeted at poor people.”
Shang Chongsheng, a sociology professor at Wuhan University, is certain that abortion and child abandonment rates will rise if the new regulation goes into effect, “If the unmarried mother is in financial difficulty and aware of the fine, she may choose to flee, hide and evade (the fee). Another probable outcome is the baby trade,” she told Xiaoxiang Morning Post.
Selected comments from Sina Weibo (8,820 shares, 5,918 comments so far)
雾满拦江：Mistresses, okay, fine. But fining unmarried mothers is simply too unbelievable. Why do you think you can deprive women of their bearing right? If a woman does not want to get married and only wants to have a baby, why can’t she? What gives you the right to fine her?
王八蛋删我资料：They should tax every adult man, because he has a penis and may impregnate a woman (those who are found infertile by People’s Hospital at the municipal level or are sterilized can apply to National Taxation Bureau for tax-free status.)
赐不了：Unmarried moms are so much greater than women who aborted their babies. How can one be called human if she isn’t even responsible for her own child.
Dianaxf：In China, being a woman itself is a tragedy. If the man who fathers the single mom’s child is an irresponsible, heartless selfish asshole, that will be a monstrous tragedy! So, women should carefully protect themselves!
pyc40：My reason for objection is simply that bearing a child out of wedlock should never be a crime and deserves no penalty, not that fining them is not appropriate. The author of the weibo post sounds as if his reason for objection is this measure is unfair instead of incorrect…
星手心：The government must be really out of money. They go to great lengths to make money.
三秦古城：Why not simply restore castration as a punishment. Be very touch on cadres in particular. If you cannot control what’s in your crotch, just remove it. This will do good to everyone and the society as well.
YE–VVV：Laws and regulations of Western countries all aim at protecting the weak. Only Asia never stops at torturing them, in terms of both social mores and laws and regulations.
文学控吧：What about celebrities?
打败肿瘤君的小怪兽：Every unmarried mother has a child-loving heart deep down. She absolutely could have chosen not to deliver the child, but she chose to be a single mom, be despised and be ridiculed, only because she couldn’t let go of her own baby, a life. If every man can stay faithful and take up the responsibility with courage, will there be any single mom? A person with love is going to be fined. Why is it always women who get hurt?