Family Planning Commission to Split Reproductive Rights with Women 70-30
BEIJING — As part of the reforms from the third plenum of the CPC Central Committee, the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) announced Monday that it would henceforth split control over reproductive rights with the country’s women 70-30.
While insisting that “primary responsibility for the number, spacing and timing of offspring remains with the NHFPC,” the state-run organization acknowledged that “in certain circumstances, it is both practical and beneficial for women to have a say in what happens to their bodies.”
Citing preliminary research by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, an NHFPC report concluded “that, on rare occasions, women have a more intimate knowledge of their own bodies than family planning officials and even the Commission itself.”
The report went on to prove that “some Chinese women continue to menstruate” despite the National Policy on Women’s Things, implemented in 1984, requiring such activities to cease after the birth of a child.
“Though unsettling,” the report noted, “it appears that the human reproductive system functions independently of central planning.”
In response to this “groundbreaking” research, the NHFPC announced that it would allow Chinese women “certain rights” over their bodies. In addition to allowing couples to bring a second fetus to term if one of the parents is an only child, the commission will no longer determine the length, flow, or cramp level of each female citizen’s menstrual cycle.
The NHFPC has also promised to halt all forced late-term abortions unless media outlets guarantee not to report on them. Even “traditional abortions,” the document stressed, “will only be conducted with the express permission of either the patient or relevant party committee.”
Speaking at a press conference in Beijing, the primary architect of the reforms, Women’s Minister Wang Zhongyu, flanked by his deputies Mr. Wang Peian, Mr. Yong Dong and Mr. Deng Jianjun, told assembled media that “the party’s views on the mysterious and seductive creature known as ‘woman’ continue to evolve.”
Pausing to have his tea refilled by one of the silent, qipao-clad serving girls, Wang continued: “Someone needs to speak for China’s women, and I believe I’m the man for the job.”
The minister was at pains to stress that the CPC’s “long-standing respect and admiration” for women would continue to inspire policy. He also emphasized that the National Sexual Double Standard, introduced in 1960, which classifies women as either “virgins” or “whores,” would remain in place.
Wang added that, in keeping with tradition, Chinese men would remain absolved of any responsibility in matters relating to reproductive or sexual health.