‘Unimaginably high’ rates of abortion, says ob/gyn doctor
The number of unwanted pregnancies in Taiwan is high and the number of abortions carried out is “beyond imagination,” according to an ob/gyn doctor.
Chen Ching-hui of Taipei Medical University Hospital said that according to statistics compiled by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, only 70 percent of married women aged between 20 and 49 practice birth control.
In her outpatient experience, she said, more than 60 percent of married couples plan their first births, but up to 80 percent did not expect their second pregnancy.
Chen said that some couples give birth to a second child reluctantly, while 40 percent choose abortion.
The medical establishment estimates that up to 500,000 fetuses are disposed of each year.
Lin Si-hong, also an ob/gyn, said Taiwan has around 200,000 newborns a year, but the number of people taking the RU486 “morning after” pill to prevent conception is around 400,000, indicating that 30 percent of pregnant women opt for giving birth, while the rest choose abortion.
According to Chen, the high unwanted pregnancy rate is related to failure to use condoms, or mistakes in “safe period” calculations.
Some women’s lack of initiative in using condoms, as well as some men’s reluctance to use them, also contribute to unwanted pregnancies.
Lin said that Taiwanese people should change their concept of abortion, noting that contraceptive devices implanted into women’s wombs do not necessarily make women uncomfortable or their partners unhappy.