Abortion statistics and pre-abortion counselling

Statistics for abortions carried out from 2002 to 2012 in Singapore, and requirements for pre-abortion counselling.

These are written answers to my questions from the Minister for Health in Parliament on 8 April 2013.

ABORTIONS CARRIED OUT IN SINGAPORE FROM 2002 TO 2012

Mr Gerald Giam Yean Song: To ask the Minister for Health in each year from 2002 to 2012, how many abortions were carried out (i) on or before the 12th week of pregnancy; (ii) from the 12th to the 20th week of pregnancy; (iii) from the 21st to the 24th week of pregnancy; (iv) after the 24th week of pregnancy; and (v) on Singaporeans, PRs and foreigners.

Mr Gan Kim Yong:

The statistics of abortions carried out in the 1st trimester (up to 12 weeks), 2nd trimester (>12-24weeks) and after 24 weeks of pregnancy are provided in Table 1. Table 2 provides the breakdown of abortions by Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents and foreigners.

Table 1: Breakdown of abortions based on pregnancy trimester

Gestation Week

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

≤ 12th week

(1st Trimester)

11266

11097

10480

10835

10820

11171

11249

10895

10771

9631

>12th to 24th week

(2nd Trimester)

992

965

1001

1186

1110

1048

1067

1186

1167

990

>24th week

14

8

1

11

3

3

2

1

2

3

Total number of abortions carried out

12272

12070

11482

12032

11933

12222

12318

12082

11940

10624

Source: Termination of Pregnancy System (with effect from 2003)[1]

Table 2: Breakdown of abortions by Singaporean Citizens, Permanent Residents and Foreigners

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

Singaporeans

9763

9236

8679

8813

8484

8183

7887

7620

7282

6431

PR

858

1060

734

1338

1359

1511

1639

1695

1634

1382

Foreigners

1651

1774

2069

1881

2090

2528

2792

2767

3024

2811

Total Abortions

12272

12070

11482

12032

11933

12222

12318

12082

11940

10624

Source: Termination of Pregnancy System (with effect from 2003)


[1] The online Termination of Pregnancy System was only implemented in 2003. Prior to 2003, the report on request for treatment to terminate pregnancy was submitted to MOH in hard copies and records were captured manually. Hence, we do not have the raw patient data to support the statistics before 2003.

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REQUIREMENT FOR PRE-ABORTION COUNSELLING

Mr Gerald Giam Yean Song: To ask the Minister for Health why women who have not passed the PSLE, have no secondary education, have three or more children, or are foreigners, are not required to undergo pre-abortion counselling by a trained abortion counsellor before undergoing an abortion.

Mr Gan Kim Yong:

Mandatory pre-abortion and post-abortion counselling was introduced in 1987 to provide information and support to women intending to undergo abortion.  The criteria reflected the main concern then.

Some of the criteria are no longer relevant and should be reviewed.  The Ministry had commenced a review of this in early March this year, and will consult the public in due course.

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Author: Gerald Giam

Gerald Giam is the Member of Parliament for Aljunied GRC. He is a member of the Workers' Party of Singapore. The opinions expressed on this page are his alone.

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