As China’s birth rate drops, political expert recommends egg freezing for single women
A member of China’s highest political advisory committee stated she would recommend allowing unmarried women access to egg freezing as a way to preserve their fertility following the country’s first population decline in six decades.
Lu Weiying, a member of China’s highest political advisory body, told the state-backed Global Times that she would also propose putting infertility treatments in the public health insurance system during the March 4 Chinese People’s Political Consultation Conference (CPPCC).
Fertility specialist Lu from China’s southern Hainan province stated that allowing single women to freeze their eggs allows them to “preserve the eggs before they past their peak reproductive years. The woman must first marry in order to use her frozen eggs and conceive in the future,” she told the Global Times.
Fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and egg freezing are now illegal for unmarried women in China.
Authorities are attempting to boost a declining birth rate with incentives such as extended maternity leave, financial and tax benefits for having children, and housing subsidies, according to Lu’s proposals.
China posted its lowest birth rate ever in 2022, with 6.77 births per 1,000 people.
Some provinces have already altered their regulations to increase birth rates. Jilin in northeastern China, which has one of the lowest birth rates in the country, changed its policies in 2002 to allow single women access to in vitro fertilization, but the change has had little effect because the practice is still outlawed nationally by China’s National Health Commission.
While nine of the world’s ten most populated nations are experiencing fertility reductions, China’s fertility rate of 1.18 in 2022 was the lowest and considerably below the OECD requirement of 2.1 for a stable population. China has not yet released its fertility statistics for 2022.
China’s demographic decline is mostly attributable to the one-child policy enacted between 1980 and 2015 and the high cost of education.
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