China Will Lift Marriage, Pregnancy Ban for Students; Impacts Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 21, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

China Will Lift Marriage, Pregnancy Ban for Students; Impacts Abortion Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 21, 2005

Beijing, China ( — In another effort to roll back some of the human rights abuses associated with its one-child family planning policy, Chinese officials announced Friday that they are planning to lift the ban on college students marrying and getting pregnant. The rule has forced some students to have abortions in order to complete their education.

An official from Chinese Ministry of Education (MOE) announced the removal of the ban, which applies to both college and postgraduate students, at a forum held by the Center for Women’s Law and Legal Services at Peking University.

Fan Yi, an official with the student affairs department from the MOE, said the agency began drafting new regulations for college students in 1996, but only now has completed the revisions.

He did not say when they would take effect, according to a report by the Xinhua news agency, China’s official news outlet.

The 50 year-old ban has compelled students to either give up their education when they become pregnant or to have an abortion.

According to a survey of college students conducted by the Center, 33.3 percent of 951 undergraduates from 16 universities oppose the prohibition of marriage while 17.7 percent support it. The rest were undecided.

Meanwhile, 57 percent of 467 surveyed graduates from 10 universities are against the prohibition of childbearing while 12 percent are for it and the rest undecided.

China has come under intense criticism from pro-life advocates, human rights watchdog groups, and U.S. officials because of the abuses associated with its family planning policies.

The regulations have resulted in forced abortions and sterilizations, women have been sentenced to re-education prison camps or forced to live in psychiatric hospitals. Others have been subjected to brutal torture.

In another effort to curb the problems associated with the policy, Chinese officials, earlier this month, said they will ban sex-selection abortions in order to halt the growing gender imbalance.