Reasons For Terminating An Unplanned Pregnancy
An unplanned pregnancy occurred unintended. It came about for various reasons; by ignorance of body workings, miscalculation, reckless behavior and out-right irresponsibility. In the small number of non-consensual sexual connection, that was the result of abuse and assault. A woman may decide on the unplanned pregnancy on impulse, or having considered the options over many weeks and months. We recognize that the decision making process is affected by the woman’s age, personal beliefs/ethos, marital status, social support system, financial attributes, religious-cultural backgrounds and health factors. Across many countries, the most frequently cited reasons to seek abortion are socio-economic concerns and limiting childbearing. It is obvious that financial circumstances significantly influence a woman’s reproductive decision making. In the early 2000s, a Swedish study reported the reasons for induced abortion as (1) desire to postpone childbearing (60%), (2) partner related concerns (32%), and being financially unprepared (32%). A 2004 US survey found that abortion was sought mainly for lack of financial preparedness (56%), partner related issues (55%) and interference with future opportunities (54%). Similarly, in the Singapore setting, women have abortions for many reasons, and these vary across socio-demographic characteristics, cultural practice and expectations and access to affordable health service. In today’s Singapore social climate, the high cost of child bearing and education, and the diminishing kins’ support for child-care, feature prominently in determining the desired number, timing and spacing of births.
Expressed reasons for seeking abortion in Singapore
A summary of the reasons put forward by women who sought abortion in Singapore is as below:
Not in stable relationship
Not mature enough to child-bearing
Not financially capable (no job, still studying)
Presumed parental / family objection
Interferes with future opportunities (study)
|>Young adult women
Not emotionally or mentally prepared
Wants to postpone childbearing (to fulfil other aspirations)
Not financially prepared (to work more to save up)
Not in stable relationship (uncertain of marital commitment)
Interferes with future opportunities (career development)
Never wanted a child (prefers no-child family)
Does not accept to place child for adoption
|Older adult women
Wants to postpone childbearing (too close to previous child)
Not financially prepared (thin resources for more children)
Partner related (marital instability)
Potential risk to pregnancy/fetal health
Need to focus attention of existing child/children
Enough children (completed family)
The journey begins with the unwelcomed awareness of an unplanned pregnancy. Many tested positive in their urine after two to four weeks of period delay. A few continue to live in denial of the absent period until four to six months. The undesired pregnancy happen because of (1) early sexual activity without understanding of its consequences, (2) reckless and risk taking behaviour, and (3) inadequate information on the use of different types of contraception.
The initial days are distressing, and sufficient emotional support from close friends is helpful to keep the nerves. Amongst the teens, there is an urgency to deal with the unwanted pregnancy, usually the fear of the pregnancy being discovered constricts their considerations.
When contemplating an abortion, she will choose between going to the government subsidized service or private clinics to seek help. The private clinics offer promptness and efficient care, whereas the institutions cost less.
The initial consultation is to confirm the pregnancy inside the uterus and to estimate the gestational age. The mandatory pre-abortion counseling will explore the many facets of the woman arriving at her decision. The ramifications of keeping and stopping the pregnancy will be discussed. The decision should not be impulsive and the "cooling off" period is essential for the woman's emotions to gravitate.
If you are certain of the abortion, then keep well on the days prior to the surgery. On the day itself, a short fast (of food and drink) of four to six hours duraiton is required. This reduces the risk of food content in the stomach from regurgitating into the lung passages. Do arrange to come with a friend, who will accompany you home. Please do not wear nail polish or any jewellery. Wear something light and convenient, and avoid tight garments.
After the procedure, you will be recovered till you feel well enough to walk around. Pain killers and anti-nausea medication may be necessary. When you are ready, your friend will see you home. You are advised not to take a full meal immediately. You should stay away from crowded places immediately after the procedure. Quiet rest is best.
You will need to return for a review appointment one week later. Contraceptive issues will be discussed again so as to prevent further unplanned pregnancy. Most of you will have your next period in four to six weeks’ time. If your period is delayed beyond eight weeks, it is important to call in. For two to three week after the procedure, you may want to avoid sexual intercourse in order to minimize the chance of pelvic infection. We will advise you on when it is safe to resume sexual activity when we review you a week later. Emotionally, most of you will feel relieved after the TOP, as the unplanned pregnancy would have kept you worried for a while. Nevertheless, some of you will be overcome by other emotions, such as anger, regret and guilt, which may persist for some time. We strongly encourage you to discuss your reactions with us at anytime. We understand your dilemma and are available to support you through your physical and emotional recovery.
Abortion Laws In Singapore
In Singapore, the procedure to terminate a pregnancy is regulated by the Termination of Pregnancy Act (1967) and Guidelines on Termination of Pregnancy (updated 2004). Salient information is represented below: Termination of Pregnancy may be carried out only by authorized medical practitioner in an approved institution.
Woman who wishes to have Termination of Pregnancy must meet the following criteria:
that she is a citizen of Singapore or the wife of a citizen of Singapore
that she is a holder or the wife of a holder of a work permit pass or employment pass. Holding a temporary work permit by either the woman or husband is not sufficient;
that she has been a resident in Singapore for at least four months.