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November 11, 2010

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Couple fights for 2nd child

A COUPLE is demanding the Jiading District Population and Family Planning Commission withdraw a decision that says they have to pay a hefty penalty for the birth of their second child, which violated the nation's family planning law.

The woman claimed she had to give birth due to health reasons.

The case was accepted by Jiading District People's Court on Tuesday. If the court upholds the commission's decision, the couple may face a penalty of 300,000 yuan (US$45,113) for violating the one-child policy.

The husband surnamed Zhang and his wife surnamed Li had a son in 2005. Li was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2009 and had two operations to cut off part of her cervix. She was found to be pregnant, two months after the second operation, in December 2009.

Li used her sister's identity to receive a prenatal examination because she couldn't get a birth permit since she already had a child.

The couple also consulted the district's population and family planning commission and learned they would have to pay a social fostering fee of 300,000 yuan if the baby was born because they didn't meet criteria to have a second child.

According to the local regulation, those who fail to meet the criteria and have a second child will be imposed a social fostering fee that triples the family's per capita disposable income of the past year.

The couple decided to give up the child when Li was four months pregnant in March.

However, a doctor said Li needed an induced abortion, which is a risky procedure that could threaten her life. Li then applied for a birth permit from the commission.

The commission issued a written decision, refusing to give the permit on July 16, five days before the baby was born.

Officials said the couple had to pay the social fostering fee.

The couple's lawyer Yuan Yulai argued the government stipulates in the family planning law that a couple can have a second baby on special occasions. Li's case is a special occasion, Yuan said.

The committee said Li tried to get around the law by using her sister's identity for an examination.


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