Chinese city to fine unmarried mothers

China Featured - June 4th, 2013

A Chinese city is planning to fine women who have children out of wedlock.

Family planning officials in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, has drawn up draft legislation that includes fines for unmarried mothers as well as those who bear the child of a married man.

Single mothers could be charged six times the annual per capita disposable income in the central Chinese city, a figure equivalent to about $26,000, as what officials refer to as “social compensation fees”, reports Al Jazeera.

The law would help keep the birth rate at a low level and intensify family planning management, officials said.

Chen Yaya, a gender equality researcher at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, warned there could be more “sewer babies” if the policy is enacted.

“If the policy is approved, there could be more ‘sewer babies’, because when mothers can’t afford the cost, they might think about throwing their babies away,” Chen said.

She also said unmarried mothers already face discrimination from stigma on premarital sex and are barred from receiving maternity benefits from the government, reports The Associated Press.

This came just days after the rescue of a newborn baby boy who was stuck inside a sewage pipe after his mother, a young unmarried woman, “accidentally” dropped him on the toilet. Police accepted this and the woman was not charged with any wrongdoing.