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In China, the state runs all fertility treatment.
In China, the state runs all fertility treatment.

BEIJING — For rich and single Chinese women who want it all, America is there to help.

The Beijing-based website Tencent Finance reports that U.S. fertility clinics are increasingly catering to single Chinese women who want to have a child on their own. Annie Liu, a successful high-end real estate dealer in New York, saw a new business opportunity that could cater to some of her clients — and founded Global Fertility Genetics (GFG), a clinic specialized in assisted-fertility services for visiting Chinese women.

"My years of contact with Chinese customers allowed me to understand that cross-border healthcare has tremendous potential," Liu said, speaking to Tencent Finance from her Manhattan clinic. "In particular, I saw egg freezing and in vitro fertilization (IVF) as a big market opportunity for high-end clients because these services are strictly controlled in China."

In China, birth control and fertility treatment are in the hands of the authorities, even after the government loosened the notorious "One-Child policy" over a year ago. Reproductive technologies are also forbidden to single women.

One single woman, who works in finance, recently wrote anonymously to a local newspaper. "I froze my eggs two years ago in California when I was 32, through an introduction of a college friend there. After that, several of my friends have followed suit," she wrote.

The woman pointed out that over the past two years, the situation for women who resort to reproductive services has improved. There are now even fertility preparation centers in China which link with American clinics. Though single mothers are still badly regarded in Chinese society, certain women say they do not want to forego having a child just because they aren't married. "I froze my eggs last year," a female real estate executive told Tencent Finance. "And now I am looking through the sperm bank for a suitable American candidate so I can have my baby."

As Tencent Finance reports, egg freezing is an emerging business in many parts of the world. For a Chinese woman who undergoes an egg-freezing cycle in America, the costs are estimated to be around $20,000, which covers all consultations, monitoring, medications and egg freezing.

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Society

How India’s Women Are Fighting Air Pollution — And The Patriarchy

India is one of the world's worst countries for air pollution, with women more likely to be affected by the problem than men. Now, experts and activists are fighting to reframe pollution as a gendered health crisis.

A woman walking through dense fog in New Delhi

*Saumya Kalia

MUMBAI In New Delhi, a city that has topped urban air-pollution charts in recent years, Shakuntala describes a discomfort that has become too familiar. Surrounded by bricks and austere buildings, she tells an interviewer: "The eyes burn and it becomes difficult to breathe". She is referring to the noxious fumes she routinely breathes as a construction worker.

Like Shakuntala, women’s experiences of polluted air fill every corner of their lives – inside homes, in parks and markets, on the way to work. Ambient air in most districts in India has never been worse than it is today. As many as 1.67 million people in the country die prematurely due to polluted air. It is India’s second largest health risk after malnutrition.

This risk of exposure to air pollution is compounded for women. Their experiences of toxic air are more frequent and often more hazardous. Yet “policies around air quality have not yet adequately taken into account gender or other factors that might influence people’s health,” Pallavi Pant, a senior scientist at the Health Effects Institute, a nonprofit in the U.S., told The Wire Science.

“It’s unacceptable that the biggest burden [rests on] those who can least bear it,” Sherebanu Frosh, an activist, added. People like her are building a unique resistance within India.

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