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2nd child, if you're then sterilized

Shanghai Daily, April 4, 2014 Adjust font size:

Women in the southern city of Guangzhou are told they will only get permission to have a second child if they agree to be sterilized afterwards.

But officials said it was an error that some family planning workers in the city had made, pledging further training for the workers to address this, New Express Daily reported yesterday.

This follows a relaxation of China's 'one-child' policy that allows more couples to have a second child.

"We don't allow forced sterilization," said Zhang Xinming, chief of the political and legal affairs section of the health and family planning commission in Guangdong Province.

Senior officials stressed that approval for a child is not linked to subsequent sterilization and said staff may have been over-zealous.

Some community workers might just want to strictly control the extra births, said a family planning official in Conghua District, surnamed Li.

Li said the staff will get additional training.

Women have spoken out against the sterilization demand.

"I prepared all the documents but was told that I had to promise to be sterilized afterwards," said a Haizhu District resident surnamed Liu.

"It's unreasonable of them to force me to have the surgery."

"Society is changing so fast," said another Haizhu resident, surnamed You. "What if I get divorced, re-marry and want to have a baby with them?"

Guangdong has relaxed birth control policies recently.

Since March 27, couples there can apply to have a second baby if either parent is an only child. Previously, both parents had to be an only child to qualify.

Chen Yiping, deputy director of Guangdong's commission of health and family planning, said fewer than 150,000 families were eligible to have a second child as a result of the policy change.

Of these, 70 percent expressed an interest in having another baby.

Chen said the policy change will make little difference to the population of Guangdong, home to some 106 million people.

Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin and Chongqing and provinces including Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Anhui in east China and Sichuan in the southwest have also loosened family planning policies.


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