Taipei Times: DPP slams Simon Chang over pregnancy comments

Members of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday accused former premier Simon Chang (張善政) of discriminating against women, while the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) vice presidential candidate said that his words had been misconstrued.

At a campaign event on Thursday, Chang said that while being unmarried is not wrong, “President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has not given birth, so she would not understand the feelings of a parent,” as he spoke about health policy for immigrant women during pregnancy.

Tsai said that her work justified her.

“I am a woman who is not married and does not have children, which some have made into a big issue,” Tsai wrote on Facebook.

“However, I have joined many women immersed in public affairs who have worked extra hard to achieve greater things and we have proved ourselves,” she wrote.

“Times are changing and Taiwan is making progress,” she wrote. “A woman in a skirt can become the supreme commander of the armed forces. Whether we have children does not diminish the resolve in our hearts and minds to build a better future for the next generation.”

DPP Legislator Lin Ching-yu (林靜儀), an obstetrician and gynecologist, said that people must not use sex and physiology as criteria when choosing a president.

“To have good leadership and competency to govern a nation, as well as empathy for common people, a person needs a brain,” Lin said.

“We ask the KMT candidates to use their brains and not just think about reproductive organs,” she said.

Chang told reporters that “if people did not understand what he was saying, he could withdraw and rephrase them.”

“President Tsai, please have sympathy for parents who are pregnant and for immigrant women who are pregnant, but have no health insurance,” he said.

“Please support our policy and give them health insurance,” he said.

Chang asked reporters whether they grasped his point, adding: “There is no discrimination.”

It was online commenters trying to spin his words as if they were discriminatory against women, he said.

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