Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Abortion Misconceptions in Singapore

Recently had a friend's friend who had a baby, whom no one knew or expected. For the whole 9 months, no one knew anything, no one knew she was pregnant and suddenly she had a baby boy!? It was a great shock to everyone and I have no idea how things are going to go from here.

I think the best choice would be for the mother to give up the child. She's too young to understand the consequences of having a child; she's too immature to be a mother; she's too irresponsible to raise a child.

She's only 18 and just finished her O levels, it's way to young to really understand how the world works, how difficult it is to have a child. For 9 months she kept it a secret, not telling anyone and not finding ways to solve the problem. She acted like an osrich and buried her head in the ground. What you cannot see does not mean it's not happening, that's exactly the way of a child. And for 9 months, she did not go for pre-natal checkups and did not eat properly (for if she did, it's not possible that no one noticed she's pregnant, she's tall and slim, if she took care of her unborn child properly, it would had been obvious by the 4th month that she's pregnant.). How irresponsible can that be? Even before the child was born, she had not been taking care of him, how can anyone expect her to take care of him now that he's born?

What's wrong with kids these days? Can't they use their heads to think before they do anything? Don't they think of consequences? And why can't they approach anyone when they run into trouble? Problems are easier to solve when they are small, not when they are blown out of proportions.

You will think kids these days are smart, there's the Internet and you can find all the information you need in regards to anything. Is it that hard for her to google for some help information? And there's so many organizations that offers all kinds of help, from doing a free pregnancy test to arranging for accomdation while one is pregnant; talking to one's parents; arranging for alternative study options; arranging for adoption. There's so much help out there, one just have to look and they will find it.

The only thing that I feel is lacking is education on abortion. The schools only showed us how bloody and scary it is, with the message that pre-marital sex can lead to abortion. But what about the moral implications? What about the implications of having a child when you're 15? (note: I think schools these days don't even show students those videos like the Silent Scream and all the pictures of foetus in pails full of blood.)

Plus, most people have misconceptions on abortion, the first thing is that it's expensive. That's not true, it's considered a day surgery and there are medisave subsidies. Also, go for referrals, just like dental treatments, go to a polyclinic and get a referral, that way the rates will be much much cheaper. All in all, it should come up to less than 300 dollars, which is not hard to gather honestly, given that kids are so rich these days.

The other thing is that parents need to be informed. That's not true either. According to the Termination of Pregnancy Act,

Privilege against disclosure of matters relating to treatment for termination of pregnancy.
7. —(1) No person who —
(a) is concerned with the keeping of medical records in connection with treatment to terminate a pregnancy; or
(b) participates in any treatment to terminate a pregnancy,
unless the pregnant woman expressly gives her consent thereto, disclose any facts or information relating to the treatment except to such persons and for such purposes as may be prescribed.
(2) Any person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both.

Thus no one is allowed to disclose the fact that someone had an abortion.

And according to this other Charter (? I can't find the title)

A child’s right to express views freely in matters pertaining to the child per se is also extended to the act of abortion. Unmarried girls who are below the age of 18 years old are entitled to the right of terminating a pregnancy without seeking parental consent. Abortion will be performed as long as the pregnancy is of no more than 24 weeks duration.

That's why I don't understand why people think that the parents will be informed and things will get from bad to worse. When such things happen, parents may or may not be the best person to handle such a situation, thus the law protects the women and allows them to make an informed decision on their own, without any parental pressures.

Why can't they just pick up the phone and make a call? Calls are not traced and all these calls are 1800 numbers, so they don't even have to pay for them, so why? Why let the mistake be one that cannot be corrected? Why can't they find out more and make the right choice for themselves?

How do I know about all these information about abortion? I googled.


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