A 67-year-old woman who is pregnant with twins has refused doctors’ advice to abort them, despite risks to her health, Chinese news outlets reported this week.
Zhang, the expecting mother, said she has had a strong desire for children ever since her only child, a son, died in a car accident in 2014, the Inquirer reports. Earlier this year, she conceived the twins through in vitro fertilization at a clinic in Taiwan that agreed to perform the controversial fertility procedure, according to the report.
When she returned home, however, Zhang said she received strong resistance from doctors because of her age. Several encouraged her to abort her unborn twins, and others refused to treat her, according to the South China Morning Post.
“No one cared about me when I lost my only child, so I found a way out by myself, but you’re blocking me again. I’m not so rich, but I’m prepared to support a child, and I believe I could live to 85 to see my child grow up to be an adult. [Even if I couldn’t], my nephew, who’s about 40 years old, can help raise the child. Having a child is everything to me,” she said.
Here’s more from the report:
Zhang was warned that due to her age and high blood pressure, plus the fact that she is carrying twins, the pregnancy is deemed as “extremely risky.”
She first had a prenatal checkup at Baodao Healthcare in Beijing, but was unable to treat her high-risk pregnancy. Zhang was then transferred to the Peking University Third Hospital, where a doctor named Li Shilan also told her that it was too risky to have another baby. Another senior doctor in the same hospital told her the same, and advised her to have the pregnancy terminated.
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The report also stated that Beijing Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning advised other hospitals in the capital not to treat her without its guidance. Because of this, Zhang said she was made to “feel like I was a wanted criminal.”
She said she hopes to live to 85 to see her twins grow to adulthood, but if she dies before they are adults, her nephew has agreed to raise the twins.
Zhang is one of the oldest women on record in China to be pregnant.