• Women's rights should be upheld in family planning law amendments, says China Daily reporter.

Women's rights should be upheld in family planning law amendments, says China Daily reporter. (Photo : China Daily)

Women should be given the right to bear a second child as well as the choice not to, and should never be forced to do so, says a report from China Daily.

Last year, China's long-running one-child policy had been relaxed somewhat in order to remedy the consequences brought about by the stiff control on the country's rapidly declining population.

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However, the amendment, which entails allowing "qualified" couples to have a second child, did not bear the expected turnout of applicants as many hesitated at adding another member to their family of three.

According to China Daily's Liu Minghui, this result made some advocates to call for further ease in the family planning policy, with some saying that the government should provide enough "encouragement" for couples to have a second child.

Political advisor Mei Zhiqiang even went as far as suggest that the government mandate couples with only one child to have another one, turning China's infamous one-child policy into a "two-child" law.

On the other hand, Liu took into consideration the Article 17 of The Population and Family Planning Law, which indicates that citizens have the freedom not to exercise their right to reproduce as much as they are free to do so.

"The suggestion that there should be a compulsory requirement for each couple to have two children exposes the lack of legal awareness among some of the country's political advisors," Liu wrote, explaining further that proper interpretation of the law entails utmost understanding of what it says.

Aside from that, Liu also cited Article 51 of the Law on the Protection of Rights and Interests of Women, which allows women the right to choose whether to give birth or not.

"Political advisors bear an important social responsibility, and they should consciously develop legal awareness so they can offer policy suggestions under the framework of the law," she added.