Chinese Court Rejects Divorce Plea by Mother of 6 Amid CCP Pressure to Boost Birthrate

A local court in China’s southern Hunan Province refused a divorce request filed in June 2023 by a mother of six daughters. The woman had asserted that she could no longer tolerate the pressure her husband put on her to provide him with a seventh child, which he hoped would be his son and heir.  However, comments from internet users within China have hinted that the Chinese court system may be being weaponized to enforce the Chinese Communist Party’s ideological and socioeconomic plans—in this case “forcing” women to have more children—as the catastrophic effects of China’s one-child policy are becoming ever more apparent. Under a regime where forced abortions, forced sterilizations, and infanticide were normalized for decades, observers fear that the regime may now be attempting to steer against impending population collapse. A Case Judged on Its Merits Alone? The plaintiff in the case, Mrs. Xiong had borne six daughters with her husband—and defendant in the case—Mr. Ou. The report says that Xiong and Ou met when they were working as migrant workers away from their hometowns. By the time they registered their marriage on March 2, 2015, Xiong had already given birth to four daughters. After their marriage, she gave birth to twin girls. The report said that Ou and his entire family placed great importance on his having a son to continue the family line—a strong social custom in China. Ou and his family pressured Xiong, therefore, insisting that she become pregnant again in order to bear a son. With six children already, Xiong said she could no longer bear the toil of further pregnancies and childbirths while caring for a large family. In October 2019, she fled back to her parents’ home, where she remained.  However, Qin Mengsi, the presiding judge of Chenxi County Court in Hunan, issued a “family education order” against Mrs. Xiong, according to a report that began trending on the Chinese Weibo social media platform on June 22.  The report had over 300,000 likes as of July 3. Court Finds Against Mother The presiding judge found that Mrs. Xiong had not come back to the defendant’s home to look after her six daughters since she left, nor had she paid any compensation for the children’s education. The court rejected Xiong’s filing for a divorce, stating that she and Ou have six daughters and that the evidence submitted by her did not prove that the relationship had broken down. The court issued a family education order against her, stating: “You are ordered to actively learn about family education, assume the main responsibility for family education, effectively perform your guardianship duties and assume the obligation to raise, educate, and protect your minor children.” The Epoch Times reached out to Chenxi County Court, but did not receive a reply by the time this article was published. It was not possible to contact either Xiong or Ou for comment. Online Outcries Against Court Ruling  The ruling sparked heated outcries among netizens in China. Many blasted the court and the Chinese regime for failing to protect women while trying their best to boost fertility in China amid a plummeting birth rate. A baby cries in her mother’s arms in Yaan, in southwest China’s Sichuan province, on April 23, 2013. (AFP/Getty Images) One netizen wrote: “Does it mean that she has to go back and give birth to more children?”  Another wrote: “Where is the humanity in this news?” “Who cares about the mom’s mental state?” a further netizen wrote. Another netizen blamed the court for the ruling: “Every odd ruling has played a role in [China’s] low marriage rate and low fertility rate!” “The court boasts this case to be an example of its so-called ‘practical work for the masses,’” another internet user wrote. “How ridiculous! It even published such a decision as ‘good-deed’ propaganda! It has no regard for women’s physical and mental health and reproductive freedom. Did the court force the woman to submit to the man to have a boy in order to increase the fertility rate?”  Chinese Regime Ignores Women’s Rights The ruling of the local court in Hunan is not an isolated case, unfortunately. The communist regime has long suppressed women’s rights, regarding women as birthing tools that it can control in order to reduce or boost the number of births—as its central planning agencies require. Mrs. Liu fled from China to escape a forced abortion. She gave birth to her baby in Los Angeles on Dec. 2, 2011. (Jenny Liu/The Epoch Times) The Chinese regime implemented its inhumane one-child policy between 1979 and 2013, with the population-control policy leading to more than 330 million abortions over four decades. It also saw women subjected to forced sterilizations, forced abortions, and having their infants killed—all of which led to a demographic crisis that threatens China’s very existence today. There have also been reports about the alarming extent of trafficking of women and girls in China. One particularly horre

Chinese Court Rejects Divorce Plea by Mother of 6 Amid CCP Pressure to Boost Birthrate

A local court in China’s southern Hunan Province refused a divorce request filed in June 2023 by a mother of six daughters. The woman had asserted that she could no longer tolerate the pressure her husband put on her to provide him with a seventh child, which he hoped would be his son and heir. 

However, comments from internet users within China have hinted that the Chinese court system may be being weaponized to enforce the Chinese Communist Party’s ideological and socioeconomic plans—in this case “forcing” women to have more children—as the catastrophic effects of China’s one-child policy are becoming ever more apparent.

Under a regime where forced abortions, forced sterilizations, and infanticide were normalized for decades, observers fear that the regime may now be attempting to steer against impending population collapse.

A Case Judged on Its Merits Alone?

The plaintiff in the case, Mrs. Xiong had borne six daughters with her husband—and defendant in the case—Mr. Ou. The report says that Xiong and Ou met when they were working as migrant workers away from their hometowns. By the time they registered their marriage on March 2, 2015, Xiong had already given birth to four daughters. After their marriage, she gave birth to twin girls.

The report said that Ou and his entire family placed great importance on his having a son to continue the family line—a strong social custom in China. Ou and his family pressured Xiong, therefore, insisting that she become pregnant again in order to bear a son.

With six children already, Xiong said she could no longer bear the toil of further pregnancies and childbirths while caring for a large family. In October 2019, she fled back to her parents’ home, where she remained. 

However, Qin Mengsi, the presiding judge of Chenxi County Court in Hunan, issued a “family education order” against Mrs. Xiong, according to a report that began trending on the Chinese Weibo social media platform on June 22.  The report had over 300,000 likes as of July 3.

Court Finds Against Mother

The presiding judge found that Mrs. Xiong had not come back to the defendant’s home to look after her six daughters since she left, nor had she paid any compensation for the children’s education.

The court rejected Xiong’s filing for a divorce, stating that she and Ou have six daughters and that the evidence submitted by her did not prove that the relationship had broken down. The court issued a family education order against her, stating: “You are ordered to actively learn about family education, assume the main responsibility for family education, effectively perform your guardianship duties and assume the obligation to raise, educate, and protect your minor children.”

The Epoch Times reached out to Chenxi County Court, but did not receive a reply by the time this article was published. It was not possible to contact either Xiong or Ou for comment.

Online Outcries Against Court Ruling 

The ruling sparked heated outcries among netizens in China. Many blasted the court and the Chinese regime for failing to protect women while trying their best to boost fertility in China amid a plummeting birth rate.

Epoch Times Photo
A baby cries in her mother’s arms in Yaan, in southwest China’s Sichuan province, on April 23, 2013. (AFP/Getty Images)

One netizen wrote: “Does it mean that she has to go back and give birth to more children?” 

Another wrote: “Where is the humanity in this news?”

“Who cares about the mom’s mental state?” a further netizen wrote.

Another netizen blamed the court for the ruling: “Every odd ruling has played a role in [China’s] low marriage rate and low fertility rate!”

“The court boasts this case to be an example of its so-called ‘practical work for the masses,’” another internet user wrote. “How ridiculous! It even published such a decision as ‘good-deed’ propaganda! It has no regard for women’s physical and mental health and reproductive freedom. Did the court force the woman to submit to the man to have a boy in order to increase the fertility rate?” 

Chinese Regime Ignores Women’s Rights

The ruling of the local court in Hunan is not an isolated case, unfortunately. The communist regime has long suppressed women’s rights, regarding women as birthing tools that it can control in order to reduce or boost the number of births—as its central planning agencies require.

Mrs. Liu fled from China to escape a forced abortion.
Mrs. Liu fled from China to escape a forced abortion. She gave birth to her baby in Los Angeles on Dec. 2, 2011. (Jenny Liu/The Epoch Times)

The Chinese regime implemented its inhumane one-child policy between 1979 and 2013, with the population-control policy leading to more than 330 million abortions over four decades. It also saw women subjected to forced sterilizations, forced abortions, and having their infants killed—all of which led to a demographic crisis that threatens China’s very existence today.

There have also been reports about the alarming extent of trafficking of women and girls in China.

One particularly horrendous case in recent years was that of a woman chained in a shed in Xuzhou, in China’s eastern Jiangsu Province. 

The woman was repeatedly raped over the past two decades by Dong Zhimin (a local villager who is reportedly her legal husband), Dong’s father, and Dong’s brother. When she first arrived in the village, the local officials also raped her “because she was beautiful.”

People who spoke out for the chained woman were silenced, subpoenaed by police, or had to flee China for their safety.

Li Jing contributed to this report.