|Deputy of the National People's Congress (NPC) Chen Shu(R)[Women of China/Fan Wenjun]
"The 'safe haven' program has been launched in more than 50 countries around the world, and people are still debating the issues around it. But it is certain that this program gives children a chance to survive," said Deputy of the National People's Congress (NPC) Chen Shu during the ongoing second session of the 12th NPC in Beijing.
The "safe haven" program was launched by the Ministry of Civil Affairs to provide shelter for unwanted children. A total of 30 cities were nominated to take part.
The "safe haven" in Guangzhou, capital city of south China's Guangdong Province, alone has received more than 200 abandoned babies, most of who suffer debilitating conditions caused by serious birth defects.
"We really should be paying attention to the defects in the system. China used to run mandatory premarital examinations, something which is no longer mandatory. I propose to make premarital examination a public service provided by the government," Chen said, who is chief editor of Guangzhou Lawyer Magazine.
"Most families want to have a child, but they need to consider genetic diseases," added Chen.
"We need to have an objective understanding of genetic defects, and we need to understand that they are inevitable. One in every 33 new born babies in the USA will be a child with birth defects, but through scientific intervention we can reduce the rate to a minimum. Through treatment, many children with disabilities can live a normal life," Chen continued.
"I mentioned several times in the National People's Congress meeting on child welfare issues, and was very happy to see that the Ministry of Civil Affairs had formulated Child Welfare Regulations. Parents should also raise their awareness of the issues around abandoning children, as parents, they are obliged to raise their children," Chen concluded.
(Women of China)