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China’s Opposition to Surrogacy Is Not a Matter of Conscience

Children wave Chinese national flags as they take part in a celebration marking the upcoming National Day, at a kindergarten in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, September 29, 2017. (Stringer/Reuters)

A Chinese celebrity actress, Zheng Shuang, recently split with her boyfriend who has accused her of abandoning their two babies carried by surrogates in the United States. Shuang is alleged to have asked that the babies either be aborted or given up for adoption. The New York Times reports:

Beyond the salacious details of the celebrity breakup, the scandal surrounding Ms. Zheng touches on sensitive topics for a country that has a troubled history with women’s reproductive rights and that remains largely wedded to traditional notions of family.

For evidence of the “troubled history with women’s reproductive rights,” the Times links to an article concerning the Chinese government’s abandonment of its one-child policy and discovery that, despite its best efforts to encourage women to have more children, they still aren’t doing so. For evidence that China is “largely wedded to traditional notions of family,” the Times leaves us guessing.

Clearly, the Chinese Communist Party is not opposed to surrogacy because it is all about “traditional” family values. (Just look at its treatment of traditionally minded minorities.) Rather, it is opposed to babies being born without its say-so, beyond its jurisdiction, and with strong ties to its biggest foreign competitor and rival.

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