SHANGHAI, July 10, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A 19-year-old woman gave birth to a baby girl in a public toilet, then threw the newborn baby out a 12th story window to her death, according to police in Shanghai.
Neighbors found the blood-stained newborn's body on the ledge of a fourth floor window on June 25. Its umbilical cord was still attached.
Police say the suspect, an unmarried migrant whose surname is Zhou, was in despair after her boyfriend broke up with her upon learning that she had become pregnant. Too scared to abort, she tossed her daughter's body down eight stories of the apartment building on Xinzhong Street in the Songjiang District of Shanghai.
Police took her into custody on Monday.
Her attorney, Zhang Peihong, said her punishment could range anywhere from 10 years in prison to the death penalty.
“Her sentence depends on her motive for the murder,” he told the press.
Having children out of wedlock is illegal in almost every province in China, according to the U.S. State Department. Unmarried women who give birth must pay Communist government officials often draconian “social compensation fees” for bearing a child outside the bounds of matrimony.
In an effort to cut down on illegitimacy, the Chinese government has considered raising these fees to the equivalent of three years' income.
The combined effect of economic pressure and social stigma often leads single women who are expecting to seek out abortion – or to more desperate behavior.
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Baby Zhou's tragic story comes just months after Chinese officials removed a baby known as “Baby 59” from a sewage pipe in Jinhua, China. The mother said she “accidentally” flushed her child down a toilet, noting that she could not afford an abortion.
She, too, was unmarried.