Wed, Nov 29, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Women decry attacks on Huang

MOTHERHOOD Women's rights activists condemned the political furor surrounding Chen's daughter-in-law and the possibility that she might deliver her child in the US

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Women's rights groups yesterday urged politicians and the media to stop focusing on whether Pres-ident Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) daughter-in-law, Huang Jui-ching (黃睿靚) -- who is now with her husband in the US -- should deliver her baby in Taiwan.

Taiwan Women's Link secretary-general Tsai Wan-fen (蔡宛芬) told a press conference that the recent dispute between politicians about the issue only focuses on whether Huang, who is seven-months pregnant, should give birth to her child in Taiwan -- but has totally ignored her body, mood and health.

Chen Lai-hong (陳來紅), convener of the Female Voters' Organization, condemned anyone who had expressed an opinion as to where Huang should deliver the child.

She said Huang should not have to bear responsibility for a promise made by the president that she would have the baby in Taiwan.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Huang Sue-ying (黃淑英), who was also present at the conference, said the decision of the mother-to-be should be respected.

"Is it wrong for Huang Jui-ching to wish to stay with her husband when she is about to deliver a baby? Is it wrong for her to want to stay away from this hostile environment when she is about to give birth? Is she wrong, even if she would like to deliver a child who will enjoy US citizenship?" Huang asked.

"Having the autonomy to deliver a baby is a woman's basic human right. Every woman has the right to choose when, where and how to deliver a child, bearing their own concerns for the health and safety of the mother and the child," the legislator said. "Such freedom should not be oppressed, interfered with, or threatened by outside influence."

As to whether the president would break his promise that he would not become "the grandfather of an American" if his daughter-in-law delivered the baby in the US, Huang Sue-ying said it was still too early to tell, adding that deciding the nationality of the child is merely a technical problem.

Although women's rights groups and Huang Sue-ying believe the autonomy of the mother-to-be should be given priority, other DPP members remained concerned whether their party would suffer if the president's daughter-in-law decided to have the child in the US.

Legislator Lin Kuo-ching (林國慶) told the media that DPP members expect Huang Jui-ching to deliver the child in Taiwan.

Former DPP legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) said Chen's promise was a political promise.

"If the promise cannot be kept, the DPP would be forced to deal with the political consequences," he said.

The wrangling over dual nationality of politicians' family members started in 2000, when the president attacked People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜), whose son Soong Chen-yuan (宋鎮遠) is a US citizen, during the presidential election campaign.

The president said at the time that Taiwanese did not want "the father of an American" to be a president, and therefore the pan-blue camp has attacked him by say-ing that Chen could soon become "the grandfather of an American."

When asked to comment on whether Chen's son and daughter-in-law should return home to have their first baby, former DPP legislator Luo Wen-chia (羅文嘉) said the couple runs the risk of sabotaging the DPP's image if they don't.

"As the president made a fuss about the US citizenship [of Soong Chen-yuan] in the 2000 presidential campaign, I don't think it's a good idea for them to have the baby in the United States," Luo, a former Chen protege, was quoted as saying on ETTV during a question-and-answer session after a speech he delivered at Boston University.

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