Reduce abortions by helping pregnant mothers financially

Medical doctor Ng Liang Wei wrote a letter to the Straits Times forum today suggesting that a fund be set up to help mothers to defray the cost of their pregnancies so as to give them less reasons to abort their babies.

I fully support this idea. I have blogged about the issue of the staggering number of abortions in Singapore before. I think for too long, the debate on abortion (at least in the US — we haven’t debated much about it in Singapore) has been centred on pro-life vs pro-choice. Pro-lifers say abortionist are killing babies, while pro-choicers say anti-abortionists are restricting the freedom of women to do what they want with their own bodies. The argument goes on and any attempt to find common ground is squashed.

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Finding common ground on abortion

Barack Obama was invited to speak at the graduation ceremony of the University of Notre Dame, where he touched on the contentious issue of abortion.

Notre Dame, apart from being known for its football team, is one of the nation’s premier Catholic universities. It was thus very controversial for Obama, a strong advocate of abortion rights, to be invited. The Catholic Church strongly opposes abortion. Some students had attended their commencement but stated their stand by wearing anti-abortion symbols on their mortar boards.

Photo: New York Times

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Abortions in S’pore must be reduced

I feel sad to learn that the number of abortions in Singapore increased again last year to 12,222, compared to 11,933 in 2007 and 12,032 in 2006. Prior to 2006, it had been on a decline since 2000. About one in four pregnancies in Singapore is terminated through abortion. In Singapore, pregnancies can legally terminated up to 5 months (24 weeks) into gestation.

Singapore has one of the most liberal abortion laws in the world, thanks to the Abortion Act of 1969 and an amended Act of 1974, both of which — especially the second, more liberal law — passed easily in an all-PAP Parliament, despite the Whip being lifted to allow MPs to vote according to their consciences.

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