Chinese province tells teacher to have abortion despite hometown allowing her to give birth

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BEIJING — A schoolteacher who gained permission to have an additional child in her hometown in one Chinese province has been ordered to have an abortion because the province where she is teaching has different rules, a family planning officer confirmed Tuesday.

The case illustrates how different areas have different family planning regulations and how unyielding China's birth limits continue to be despite a recent loosening in the 35-year-old policy to allow more couples to have two children.

Both pregnant Qin Yi and her husband Meng Shaoping had a daughter with their previous spouses, so the newly married couple is not allowed to have their own child according to Guizhou province's regulations, the education bureau and health and family planning commission in Guizhou's Libo county said in a notice Monday.

Qin must have an abortion by the end of the month otherwise she will be fired from her job, said the notice circulated online and carried by a local newspaper, which reported that Qin was five months pregnant.

An officer from the county's health and family planning commission confirmed the case.

Qin and Meng applied for permission to have a child from authorities in Huangshan city in eastern Anhui province, where her residency is registered, said the officer, who gave only his surname, also Qin.

The authority is investigating whether Qin transferred her residency to Anhui earlier this year in order to gain permission to give birth, said the officer.

Anhui province allows couples to have a child if they don't have more than two children from previous marriages, whereas Guizhou only lets a couple have a child if there is just one previous child.

Different areas draw up their own family planning rules that fit into a national policy. In late 2013, China's leadership announced it would allow two children for families in which one parent is an only child, and different provinces and cities have implemented the change at different paces.

China credits the unpopular "one-child" policy as preventing 400 million births, whereas many demographers argue the birth rate would have fallen anyway as China's economy developed and education levels rose.

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