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Against Doctors’ Advice, 67-Year-Old Woman Carrying Twins Refuses Abortion

CC0 / / Pregnancy
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A 67-year-old Chinese woman who became pregnant with twins through in-vitro fertilization has said she will ignore doctors’ orders to have an abortion despite the risk to her health.

The woman, surnamed Zhang, said that she wants to give birth, despite the fact that her high blood pressure, age and the fact that she is carrying twins render hers a very risky pregnancy. Zhang lost her only son to a car accident four years ago, when he was 34. She has yearned for children ever since, the South China Morning Post reported Wednesday. 

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The couple underwent in-vitro fertilization in June at a hospital in Taiwan that was willing to perform the procedure. The procedure involves fertilizing an egg with sperm outside the body and then transferring the fertilized egg into the woman's uterus.

When Zhang came back from Taiwan, she went to a prenatal check at Baodao Healthcare, a maternity hospital in Beijing, China. However, the hospital refused to provide her with treatment due to her high-risk pregnancy. She was transferred instead to Peking University Third Hospital.

Li Shilan, a doctor who treated Zhang at Peking University Third Hospital, also agreed that it was too risky for her to have the babies.

A senior doctor at the same hospital advised Zhang to have an abortion.

According to reports, the Beijing Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning requested other hospitals in Beijing not treat Zhang without contacting them for guidance.

Zhang told the Beijing News Wednesday that her treatment by the Commision and hospitals made her "feel like I was a wanted criminal." 

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"No one cared about me when I lost my only child, so I found a way out by myself, but you're blocking me again. I'm not so rich, but I'm prepared to support a child, and I believe I could live to 85 to see my child grow up to be an adult. [Even if I couldn't], my nephew, who's about 40 years old, can help raise the child. Having a child is everything to me," she added.

According to an anonymous medical professional, Chinese law does not limit the legal age for pregnancy, although officials have been drafting a proposal to institute such a cap, the South China Morning Post reported.

The oldest Chinese woman to give birth is Sheng Hailin. She gave birth to twins at the age of 62 in 2010.

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