Catholic villagers in Vietnam's Thua Thien-Hue province say their government's two child policy, imposed with the threat of a fine burdensome to the poor, force the use of artificial birth controls.
Families with more than two children have to pay rice to the government as a fine, if they breach a nationwide policy dating to 1994 that requires Vietnamese to have no more than two children per family, UCA News reported.
Catholics in the Huong Toan village say they have done their best to remain true to Church teaching but some were eventually driven to contraceptives as they could not afford the hefty fines.
Catherine Pham Thi Thanh, 44, said that since 1996, she has been fined a total of 3,800 kilograms of rice for having six children.
Thanh, who produces rice alcohol and raises pigs to support her family, said she was fined 300 kilograms for her third child, 600 kilograms for the fourth, 900 kilograms for the fifth and 2,000 kilograms of rice for the sixth. Her children range from two to 15 years.
Her family makes an annual profit of only 700 kilograms of rice from their 1,000 square metre farmland the local government grants them.
In 2007, she decided to use an intrauterine device to avoid an even heavier fine should there be a seventh child.
Local village authorities have previously seized the possessions of a family who could not afford to pay the fine. Those who have two children have been asked to use contraceptives or undergo vasectomies free of charge.
FULL STORY @
Catholics fined for having large families (UCA News)