Between 300,000 and 500,000 abortions are carried out in Taiwan each year, National Taiwan University College of Medicine professor and pediatrician Lue Hung-chi (呂鴻基) told a forum on Saturday, calling on the government to act on the situation.
Lue said the birthrate last year was 166,000, showing that the number of abortions far exceeded the number of children born.
The government should implement measures to encourage people to have children and set up channels for pregnant women to ask questions, as well as provide counseling for people about pregnancy and create an environment that facilitates adoption, Lue said.
Lue said doctors from the school’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology had told him that the reason there were so many abortions was the loose regulations in Article 9, sub-paragraph 6 of the Genetic Health Act (優生保健法), which stipulates that “if giving birth or becoming pregnant affects the patient’s psychological health or family life, if the patient is willing, an abortion may be performed.”
Many people are using this act to have abortions and the government should amend the law to avoid further exploitation, Lue said.
In response to Lue’s figures, Taiwan Association of Obstetrics and Gynecology secretary-general Huang Min-chao (黃閔照) said there had never been statistical records of the actual number of abortions and that people should refrain from making estimates.
There is a popular belief that September is usually the month when women want to have an abortion, a belief that Huang said could not be supported by statistics.
As for the act, Huang said several countries had identical or similar regulations that respect a mother’s right to choose whether to have a child, adding that if amendments imposed certain prohibitions on abortion, many pregnant women could turn to underground clinics, causing more problems and -potentially lead to serious injuries.
Lee Mao-sheng (李茂盛), a professor at Chung Shan Medical University’s College of Medicine, said the loss of babies from miscarriage or abortions annually was between 100,000 and 150,000.
Subtracting the number of miscarriages indicated that between 50,000 and 100,000 abortions are carried out each year, Lee said, adding that while in the past abortions usually occurred among adolescents, the number was now growing among people of marrying age.
That is because many people feel they cannot raise a child and are afraid of the pressure the arrival of a child could bring, Lee said.
Because of the recent global financial crisis, soaring housing prices and stagnating salaries, the abortion rate has grown by about 20 percent, Lee said.
The problem of a low birth rate could be mitigated by a potential “mini-baby boom” during the year of the dragon, Lee said, adding that abortion rates could also drop to 10 percent during that year.
The number of babies born next year is expected to be between 180,000 and 200,000.
TRANSLATED BY JAKE CHUNG, STAFF WRITER
HIGH STAKES: An attack on Taiwan could prompt a joint response from the US and Japan, and trigger a global conflict that could bring down the CCP, Liu Tai-ying said The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) would not be able to launch an invasion of Taiwan for at least another 10 years, Taiwan Research Institute founder Liu Tai-ying (劉泰英) said on Friday. To occupy Taiwan, China needs to transport at least 300,000 to 400,000 troops across the Taiwan Strait during battle, but it would lack the ability to do so for at least another decade, said Liu, a former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) treasurer and a close aide to former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝). The challenges that China would face during an attempted invasion of Taiwan would be even greater than those
CHINA CRITIC: Prime ministerial candidate Giorgia Meloni, the front-runner in today’s election, said that she would not renew a Belt and Road Initiative deal with Beijing Italian lawmaker Giorgia Meloni, the front-runner to become the country’s next prime minister, is expected to reverse course on Italy’s support for China’s Belt and Road Initiative and strengthen ties with Taiwan if a coalition headed by her party wins the country’s general election today. “Without any doubt, if there is a center-right government, it is sure that Taiwan will be an essential concern for Italy,” Meloni told the Central News Agency in an interview. Italians are to vote in a snap election triggered by the resignation of Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi following a failed attempt to get his coalition partners
HAWAII MODEL: While Hawaii held a referendum on becoming the 50th US state, Taiwan has never applied to join the People’s Republic of China, Miles Yu said China comparing Taiwanese independence to Hawaii seeking independence from the US is illogical, as Taiwan has never applied to be a part of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Hudson Institute senior fellow Miles Yu (余茂春) said over the weekend. Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅), who is in New York for the UN General Assembly, has given multiple talks asserting Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan. In a speech to the Asia Society on Thursday, Wang likened Taiwan to Hawaii. “Just as the US would not allow Hawaii to break away,” Beijing “reserves the right” to seek unification, Wang told the gathering. The
Taiwanese on average first use pornographic material at the age of 14, an international survey found on Wednesday. Researchers at National Cheng Kung University, who conducted the survey in the nation, said 50.2 percent of Taiwanese respondents said they used pornographic material two to three times per month over the past year. Lin Chung-ying (林宗瑩), an associate professor at the university’s Institute of Allied Health Sciences, said the results indicate that Taiwanese are less sexually active than people in other countries, especially in the West. Taiwanese on average masturbate 10 percent less often than respondents from other nations in the survey, Lin said. The