The number of unwanted pregnancies in Taiwan is high and the number of abortions carried out is “beyond imagination,” an obstetrics and gynecology doctor said.
Taipei Medical University Hospital obstetrics and gynecology doctor Chen Ching-hui (陳菁徽) 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.
She said that in her outpatient experience, more than 60 percent of married couples plan their first pregnancy, but up to 80 percent did not expect their second.
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.
Another obstetrics and gynecology doctor, Lin Si-hong (林思宏), said Taiwan has about 200,000 newborns a year, but the number of people taking the RU486 “morning after” pill to prevent conception is about 400,000, indicating that 30 percent of pregnant women opt for giving birth, while the rest choose abortion.
The high unwanted pregnancy rate is related to failure to use condoms, or mistakes in “safe period” calculations, Chen said.
Some women’s lack of initiative in using condoms, as well as some men’s reluctance to use them, also contributes to unwanted pregnancies.
Lin said that Taiwanese 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.
Lin said the concept is wrong and that the devices are easy to install without side effects.
Taiwan’s birth rate is one of the lowest in the world.
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) earlier this month said that he was overjoyed when he heard that there was a higher-than-expected number of newborns last year.
The number last year was previously estimated at 195,000, but hit 213,000.
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