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Chinese Nurse Forced to Resign for getting Pregnant in 2016 by Idowu Olabode : December 14, 2016, 08:39:38 PM
A nurse in Xi'an, capital city of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, was forced to resign from her job after becoming pregnant, as her pregnancy would "disrupt the hospital's working plans."

The 35-year-old woman, surnamed Guo, was forced to make a choice between going through with her second pregnancy and keeping her job at Tangdu Hospital. Due to a staff shortage, Guo's department required her to sign a letter of commitment in March, pledging not to become pregnant in 2016 as it could disrupt the hospital's operation. Although Guo signed the letter, she then discovered her unexpected pregnancy in July, which upset the hospital administration.

"I signed the letter in March, as several of my colleagues had already applied for maternity leave, which the hospital deemed a disruption. But I did not expect that my second child would come in April, and I don't want to give it up," Guo told The

Wang He, director of Guo's department, told The that the hospital did ask Guo to choose between her child and her job, which they considered fair since Guo broke her promise to the hospital.

"There are 14 nurses in our department, and four got pregnant this year. We did not interfere with their pregnancies because it was the first child for each of them. But this tendency should be stopped, or our department will be shut down for good," Wang said.

"We never prevent our nurses from getting pregnant, but they should talk to us in advance so a thorough plan can be made to avoid labor shortages," Wang added.

"The letter of commitment Guo signed is not legally binding, so the hospital cannot legally fire Guo for getting pregnant. The hospital can negotiate with Guo, but they cannot force her to accept their decision," said Wu Youshui, a lawyer specializing in family planning.

The hospital had allowed Guo to return to work as of press time, without committing to a course of action.

Guo's experience has attracted mixed reactions from Chinese netizens. Under the hashtag "Xian Nurse Got Sacked For Pregnancy" which had garnered over 1.2 million page views as of press time, many netizens have shown support for Guo, arguing that it's her fundamental human right to give birth to a child.

"I think the hospital is heartless. How can you force a woman to give up her baby just for a job? This is so barbaric and inhuman," one Internet user wrote.

But others held different opinions, criticizing Guo for being "dishonest" and "irresponsible."

"If everyone acted like Guo, the hospital would shut down and patients would have nowhere to seek treatment. She already promised not to have a second child [in 2016], and she can still have another kid in the future if she talks to the hospital first," another Internet user commented.

(Source: People's Daily Online)

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