May 9, 2023 -BEIJING (AP) — An unmarried Chinese woman on Tuesday began her final appeal of a hospital’s denial of access to freeze her eggs five years ago in a landmark case of female reproductive rights in the country.
Teresa Xu’s case has drawn broad coverage in China, including by some state media outlets, since she first brought her case to court in 2019. She lost her legal challenge last year at another Beijing court, which ruled the hospital did not violate the woman’s rights in its decision.
The upcoming judgment will have strong implications for the lives of many unmarried women in China and the country’s demographic changes, especially after the world’s second-largest economy recorded its first population decline in decades.
In China, the law does not explicitly ban unmarried people from services like fertility treatments and simply states that a “husband and wife” can have up to three children. But hospitals and other institutions, in practice, implement the regulations in a way that requires people to present a marriage license.
Xu, who wanted to preserve her eggs so she could have the option to bear children later, is one of those facing difficulties in accessing fertility treatment.