Permits & Passes
Monday with the Editor: Teenage Pregnancies
once in a while we get an e-mail from teenagers requesting
information on matters relating to abortion. We just
received another one last evening.
Termination of Pregnancy Act 1974, youths aged 13 to 21 do
not need to get their parents' consent for an abortion. Last
year, there were calls for the TOP Act to be amended to
require such consent, but Health Minister LIM Hng Kiang in
October 2000 reaffirmed that teenage girls did not
need their parents' consent under the law and this law
was not going to change. Mr LIM added that if parental consent was made compulsory, some girls
might even resort to suicide.
minor or adult - can go for an abortion. She just needs to
get an approved
medical practitioner to do the abortion. She also needs
to give her written consent to the doctor.
More than 2000 teenage
girls, some as young as 13, had abortions in 1999. Unmarried girls below 16 years of age
who seek an abortion have to undergo a structured abortion
counselling session at the School Health Service conducted by trained
nurses and medical social workers.
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
During such counselling
sessions, other options, such as carrying the foetus to term, are also
discussed. The girls are encouraged to confide in their parents
and the counsellors help them come to terms with this and find a way to
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