SINGAPORE, February 19, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The United States is not the only nation that has decided abortion-minded women should meet with a doctor before making a final decision.
The Ministry of Health in the nation of Singapore has recommended that women have a counseling session with a doctor 48 hours before an abortion.
The law already requires such conferral for most women, but not for women without at least some secondary education, foreigners, or women who already have three children or more.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong made the proposal in writing on Monday.
The move is an attempt to reverse the impending demographic disaster in a nation where one in every four pregnancies ends in abortion. Singapore's birthrate has dropped from 4.3 in 1973 to 1.19 last year – well below the 2.1 necessary to maintain a steady population level.
Singaporean women had 33,205 births in 2012 and 10,960 abortions.
AFP reported, “Doctors say ease of access to legal abortions at public hospitals and private clinics, coupled with heavy medical subsidies, have made abortions a practical choice for Singaporeans who cannot afford to raise a child.”
The nation's Termination of Pregnancy (TOP) Act allows any woman of reproductive age to obtain an abortion at any time during the first two trimesters of pregnancy (24 weeks), or later if the woman's life or “physical or mental health” is in danger. Parental consent is not required.
The Ministry of Health hopes that counseling will change the high abortion rate, noting that 336 women chose to keep their babies after such visits in 2012, an increase of 68 over the previous year.
Last summer the nation's founding prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, the father of Singapore's population control regime, said the nation's low total fertility rate was not his fault. Yew successfully promoted voluntary sterilization and financial disincentives for families to have more than two children.
Observers have been alarmed over the population bust, and the likely economic effects it would have, for more than a decade. Although it has taken to offering financial aid and credits worth $15,000 per child, the government simultaneously required Catholic schools to teach students about condom use.
While government leaders are focused on the national effect an aging populace will have, the effect of their policies is felt personally by the women who opted to abort.
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Mazlinda Majlam told AFP in 2009 that after her abortion, she began having a recurring nightmare. “It's a silhouette of a baby sitting down, and he will just be looking at me,” she said. “The baby has no eyes, but he will be looking at me.”
“Whenever I walk past a baby, I will feel very sad, very depressed,” she said.