Unwanted pregnancies increase but legalizing abortion unlikely

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BANGKOK, 29 May 2011 – The Women’s Health Advocacy Foundation expressed concerns over the increasing number of unwanted pregnancies, while legalizing abortion in Thailand was unlikely. 

According to the Department of Mental Health, Ministry of Public Health, over 10,000 teenage girls got pregnant in 2009 and the number was increasing.

The Women’s Health Advocacy Foundation said it was difficult to push for the legalization of abortion in the Kingdom as the practice went against Thai culture and religious belief.

Currently,a woman can get legal abortion only under three circumstances: when she has been the victim of rape, when the mother’s health is in danger, and when she is younger than 15 years old.

The Foundation explained that 45 percent of women with unwanted pregnancies got illegal abortions, which was very risky to the health of the women and many had died as a result of the substandard procedures.

It added many developing countries such as Cambodia, Vietnam, and Nepal had legalized abortion for women who are under 3-month in pregnancy.

The Foundation suggested preventing unwanted pregnancies was the best way to solve the matter; providing knowledge to students, giving birth control service, and giving women with unintended pregnancies options and guidance.