WUHU, ANHUI - A woman from eastern China reportedly died recently after she was forced to undergo four abortions in a year as her husband wanted a son.
The woman - identified only by her first name of Yueyue - had fallen ill as she suffered from poor health due to the repeated abortions, according to the Jianghuai Morning News.
Having given birth to a girl four years ago, her husband wanted to try for a second child after China lifted its one-child policy in 2015.
But he was determined to have a boy, and insisted that his wife undergo ultrasound scans to identify the baby's gender.
He then forced her to have an abortion when it was revealed the unborn baby was a girl - an ordeal that she was put through four times in a year.
It is illegal in the country for doctors to inform mothers of their unborn child's gender, so as to prevent them from terminating their pregnancy.
But Chinese families, especially in rural areas, continue to prize boys over girls. In October last year, over 70 people were arrested in connection with a widespread network that ran an illegal service identifying the gender of unborn babies.
The toll of the abortions caused Yueyue to become bedridden, but her husband asked for a divorce instead of taking care of her.
She reportedly had no choice but to accept the divorce and used the 170,000 yuan (S$34,400) from the settlement to seek treatment at a hospital in Shanghai.
She later died after her condition worsened.
Photos that surfaced on local media showed Yueyue's family members bringing her ashes to her ex-husband's home on Monday (July 17) to seek justice.
The ex-husband, who was planning to buy a new car so he could marry another woman, was said to have refused to meet her family and hid in a neighbour's house.
Local police were said to be investigating the case.