The first lawsuit under China’s controversial one-child, forced-abortion law has been filed at a Beijing court, China Daily reports. The
plaintiff, a 35-year-old man identified as Mr Li, accused his wife Ms He, 27, of infringing his right to have a child by opting for an
abortion. The court has refused to reveal the full names of the couple to protect their privacy.

Wives who refuse to bear a child may incur unfair blame and demands for
compensation. This is the first time a man has sued his wife over his
right to be a father since China’s parliament, the National People’s
Congress, approved the law, ruling that a woman had no overriding
priority over her spouse in deciding whether to have a child.

The plaintiff told the court that, by opting for an abortion, his wife
of 18 months had violated his right to be a father. He said he had been
upset when Ms He, who became pregnant in November last year, had
informed him she had chosen to abort the baby despite his strong

The court has officially recommended the case to go to trial but refused
to release any further detail before the announcement of the verdict.

China’s family planning legislation has been causing controversy in the
media ever since it was passed by parliament last December. The most
controversial provision is that the law now puts a man’s right to have a
child on an equal footing with the right of his wife, making both
spouses within the marriage equally responsible for family planning.
The law’s opponents say the provisions dealing with fatherhood rights
have not been thought through properly and need further revision.