On 26 February, the Intermediate People’s Court of Nanjing in the Chinese province of Jangsu announced a Xuanwu court decision in favour of a woman in a case involving the custody of her embryos.
Judge Chen Wenjun, who presided over the case, found that the unilateral decision taken by the woman’s ex-husband to stop paying the couple’s embryo storage fee to a state hospital in the United States and to abandon the embryos “violated the physical reproductive rights” of his wife.
The man was sentenced to pay 30,000 ¥ in damages for the physical and mental consequences of his actions, given the age of his wife, who is 36 years old. Furthermore, the woman strongly contested the divorce. The court deemed that the situation raised concerns regarding the embryos.
Family planning laws in China establish judgements in which men and women tend to have the same rights regarding unborn children. For the first time in 2002, a 35 year-old man sued his wife for “violating his right to have a child through abortion”. At that time, the National People’s Congress had“approved the family planning law, stating that a woman did not have priority over her partner when deciding to have a child”.
The Nanjinger, Frank Hossack (27/02/2018)