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SINGAPORE    High & Low Tides


    Health - Abortion



Abortion     provides abortion services & diagnoses

                                     female problems

Approved abortion clinics & hospitals

Deliveries in Singapore: 2001 - 2003


MOH replies to questions in Parliament on abortion

The Termination of Pregnancy Act was enacted in 1974, to provide for the safe termination of unwanted pregnancies by trained persons in appropriately equipped facilities.

It is to safeguard the health and well-being of the woman who has, for various reasons, decided to terminate her pregnancy. This is intended to ensure that all children born in Singapore are wanted children, who will be properly cared for, and will have opportunities to develop to their full potential...



Pregnancy Crisis Service

Tel: (65) 6339 9770

Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat: 9am - 5pm

Tue, Thu: 9am - 9pm

For unmarried mothers & mothers-to-be

  Excerpt of a letter by Julia WONG, Public Affairs Manager, Ministry of Health, to Forum, The Straits Times dated 16 Nov 2000

     "...The rate of teenage abortions in Singapore has remained relatively stable in the past 10 years. In 1995/1996, the most recent period for which comparative date was available, the abortion rate among our teenagers aged 15 - 19 was low, compared to other developed countries (see chart).



Abortion Rate

Australia 23.8
Canada 21.2
England & Wales 18.6
New Zealand 20.0
US 29.2
Singapore 13.6

*Source: Ministry of Health

     "...Nevertheless, we have to contend with the reality that there will continue to be teenage pregnancies. As such, a structured procedure is in place to ensure that our teenagers undergo a pre-abortion counselling session at the School Health Service Counselling Centre, first with a trained nurse, and then with a family social worker. The average length of this session is 2 hours....About 44 per cent of teenagers attend the sessions with their parents. ...The teenager who does not go with her parents or whose parents are unaware of the pregnancy is advised to confide in her parents and the counsellor helps her to make this decision and to find a way to tell her parents. A minimum of 48 hours must then elapse before a pregnancy can be terminated. This is to allow the girls requesting abortions to review their situation in the light of the information and counselling provided.

     "Before abortion was legalised, there were cases of back-street abortions resulting in infections and deaths. After the introduction of the TOP Act, the number of deaths due to botched illegal abortions was reduced drastically. In recent years, no such cases have been reported. We cannot guarantee that  mandating parental consent will not see a scenario of maternal deaths from botched illegal abortions being replayed, as the lives of both teenager and unborn baby are endangered.

     "Teenage abortion stems from many problems which, ideally, should be dealt with sensitively through parental guidance and support. The requirement for parental consent for abortion alone would not get to the root of the problem. There could be detrimental consequences for the teenager, both emotionally and physically, should the parents be unable to provide the necessary support for their pregnant teenage daughter, or if the family responds to it in a very negative way."

Julia WONG, Public Affairs Manager,

for Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health


  Those who buy unregistered medicine - such as abortion pill Mifepristone widely known as RU 486 - can be prosecuted for importing or procuring medicine without a proper licence. Health Minister LIM Hng Kiang gave this warning in a written reply to a parliamentary question filed by Nominated MP Claire CHIANG, who asked if the government would take measures to stop the sale of the abortion drug over the Internet. (Straits Times 14 Nov 2000)


  Excerpt of a letter to The Ethics Of Life, The Straits Times dated 5 Nov 2000

     "There is obviously an ethical debate when it comes to the issue of abortion but within the constraints of the law I believe the law should not be changed.

     "I do not feel that the current law in any way provokes or encourages women to have unsafe sex with the open option of abortion available legally. Rather, it provides an opportunity for many women to get on with their lives rather than to deal with the stigma of an unwanted baby and an extra responsibility that they cannot shoulder..."



  Exerpt of a letter to The Ethics Of Life, The Straits Times dated 5 Nov 2000

     "I came from a convent school and as part of our sex education, we were shown videos about how an abortion is done. If you have ever seen one, trust me, you will never forget it. It shows the tiny foetus waving its arms, heart beating safely in the mother's womb, only to be torn away brutally and crushed moments later. The foetus tries to escape by avoiding the instruments of death, to no avail.

     "If a woman makes the decision to sleep with a man, she should be aware of the consequences and bear the responsibilities. The number of teenage pregnancies is increasing definitely, but abortion is not going to solve the issue. Life should be treasured. Abortion is not an opinion of right or wrong. Like murder, it is a universal wrong as we are not in the position to take another life."

     Pro-life Gal


  Excerpt of an article SEX, LIES AND CONSEQUENCES by Irene NG in The Straits Times of 27 Oct 2000

     "...It is no help to tell girls, as the new school programme does in the CD-Rom: ' Would you buy a magazine that is dog-eared or one that is new and still in its plastic wrapper?' Being a virgin is like a brand new magazine that hasn't been opened.' 

     "In fact, it is sick. And it is no help for parents to insist on their daughters seeking their consent before going for an abortion. Not when, as is typical in many families, they find it hard even to talk about sex with their children at home. So they leave it to schools.

     "What teenage girls and boys should be taught, even before they reach the age of sexual curiosity and puppy love, is that sex comes with responsibility. That sexual urges will come, and that they are normal. And that you can say 'No'. Not because you don't want to feel like a dog-eared magazine, but because sex is a precious gift, an intimate union of bodies into one flesh. 

     "And as a precious gift, you only reserve it for the one you are committed to seriously in a loving relationship. It is too special to be trivialised. Self-control and discipline are strengths worth cultivating. I know this sounds old-fashioned, but at least it does not use the weapon of guilt to beat the girls down to remaining virgins.

     "While I am at it, I hope teenagers are also taught the methods of birth control and on their options should they get pregnant, including abortion and yes, the soul-searching and trauma involved..."

     Irene NG

  Excerpt of a letter to The Straits Times of 23 Oct 2000

     "...The fact that a teenager may choose "extreme measures" over seeking her parents' help shows they are unable to communicate on some of the deepest issues touching their lives. In allowing abortions to be carried out on teenagers without their parents' knowledge, they are ultimately being encouraged to continue a life of deception where their parents are concerned.

     "Hence, I do not see how this can be good for the health or safety of these teenagers in the long term, regardless of how much counselling they receive before the abortion... A suggestion here: instead of limiting the consent to parents, a teenager could also get the consent from a responsible adult who knows her well, such as a relative or teacher..."

     Lucille Frances ONG Kheng Lu


  Excerpt of a letter by Julia WONG, Public Affairs Manager, Ministry of Health, to The Straits Times of 21 Oct 2000

     "...We understand the concern of the writers and of parents. However, it has been noted that teenage girls who find themselves pregnant are usually in a desperate situation and likely to resort to extreme measures. For those who do not want their parents to know, a requirement for parental consent could force them to go to unlicensed practitioners, try potentially dangerous "medicines" purported to cause abortions or even attempt suicide.

     "There are many contributing factors to the problem of teenage pregnancy. Counselling is therefore a mandatory requirement before abortions can be carried out. For unmarried girls below 16 years of age who seek an abortion, they have to undergo a structured abortion counselling session at the School Health Service conducted by trained nurses and medical social workers.

     "The counselling aims to educate them on issues, such as responsible love, sexual behaviour and contraceptive methods, as well as look into psychosocial reasons which may predispose these girls towards sexual relationships and advise them on the social support available to prevent repeat pregnancies.

     "During such counselling sessions, other options, such as carrying the foetus to term, are also discussed. The girls are always encouraged to confide in their parents and the counsellors help them come to terms with this and find a way to do so....While we appreciate the concerns of the writers, our concern has to be the health and safety of these teenagers."

     Julia WONG, Public Relations Manager, for Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health


  Excerpt of a letter to The Straits Times of 20 Oct 2000

"...Courses are conducted for nurses to counsel patients who request for abortions - and these are trained professionals doing a specific and objective task. Even so, the courses last two weeks...If the government wants to reduce the number of teenage pregnancies, then allowing the sale of RU 486, as in other countries, may be the answer... "

     CHEW Shing Chai (see also Sex Education For Schools)


  Excerpt of a letter to The Straits Times of 19 Oct 2000

     "...The ministry's excuse for not changing the Act - that teenagers may turn to unlicensed abortionists - is weak and unfounded.

     "Even if they believe that every individual has a right to abort an unwanted child, the least the ministry should do is to keep the parents informed if the individual is aged below 18 years old.

     "What message is the ministry sending to parents when it says it is our duty to teach children about sex, but thinks it is unnecessary for us to know when our children have abortions?"

     LOH Kwek Leong


  Excerpt of a letter to The Straits Times of 18 Oct 2000

     "We are deeply saddened by the fact that the Health Minister, Mr Lim Hng Kiang, has decided not to change the Termination of Pregnancy Act, by which a teenager does not need parental consent to terminate her pregnancy.

     "In Singapore, where teenagers are not allowed to drive, and it is a crime for school children to smoke in public, we are allowing our children to do irreparable damage to their bodies, as well as their psyche, by making abortion so simple and easily available that they do not need to explore alternative solutions.

     "...When children undergo even minor surgery, an older person has to sign a consent form. Why, then, in such a dangerous procedure as the termination of a pregnancy, is a child given the right to make a decision without consulting her parents?

     "We do see the Minister's fear - that people will go to unlicensed abortionists - but that can be checked by enforcing strict laws and by teaching children that they have to take responsibility for their actions."

     C Rodricks, Joyful Parents Service, Family Life Society


  Almost 1,700 teenage girls here had abortions in 2001, said Mr CHAN Soo Sen, Minister of State (Prime Minister's Office and MCDS), on Tuesday. He told about 400 youth workers that they, parents, and teachers here will be guiding teens on making informed choices about sex. (Straits Times 30 May 2002) (H4)


  More than 2000 teenage girls, some as young as 13, had abortions in 1999. None of them needed their parents' consent under the law and this law is not going to change, said Health Minister LIM Hng Kiang in a written reply on Monday 9 Oct 2000 in response to Nominated Member of 'Parliament Claire Chiang's request for the Termination of Pregnancy Act to be amended to require youths aged 13 to 21 to get their parents' consent for an abortion. He added that if parental consent was made compulsory, some girls might even resort to suicide.
Age 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
13-14 17 19 29 9 7
15-16 223 228 256 155 168
17-18 679 698 793 682 689
19-21 1742 1784 1686 1629 1746
TOTAL 2661 2729 2764 2475 2610
Overall Total 14504 14365 13827 13838 13753



1. Turn up at approved clinic or hospital.

2. Referred to Ministry of Health for guidance and counselling if under 16 years old

3. Go for urine test to confirm pregnancy

4. Go for ultrasound of the pelvis to determine stage of pregnancy

5. Watch a 12-minute video on abortion

6. Wait 48 hours before having an abortion (Singapore citizens & permanent residents only) Non-citizens do not have to wait.

7. Undergo the abortion procedure

Estimated Cost:

S$150 - S$1,200  Restructured hospitals

S$400 - S$2,000 Private clinics & hospitals


London: Vegetarian mothers are more likely to give birth to girls, according to research that backs the old wives' tale that what a woman eats can affect the sex of her child.

The study is believed to be the first to show that cutting out meat and fish can affect the sex of a baby significantly. The Times newspaper reported on 6 Aug 2000. Ms Pauline Hudson, a pregnancy expert at the University of Nottingham, analysed the impact of the growing number of vegetarian women on the health of newborns. She and co-researcher Rosemary Buckley found that, while the national average in Britain was 106 boys born to every 100 girls, for vegetarian mothers, the ratio was just 85 boys to 100 girls. The survey was based on an audit of about 6,000 pregnant women in 1998, said The Times.