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Should we be proud or ashamed when Vietnam has one of the highest abortion rates in the world?

Should we be proud or ashamed when Vietnam has one of the highest abortion rates in the world?

While on the internet, it’s very easy to search “abortion in Vietnam” and get the result: “Vietnam has one of the highest abortion rates in the world”, “the highest abortion rate in Southeast Asia”, “top 5 countries have the highest abortion rate”…

Thus, when the health managers or other policy makers look at every single article on media mass which contained that kind of title, they concern how we can reduce the rate of abortion or remove this on media mass. And what they have actually done is drafting the law which banning abortion from the 2nd trimester.

In fact, what we should be proud or ashamed?

5 reasons why we should be proud of:

  • Many women has been saved every day because of safe abortion
  • The complication related to abortion is very low (0,17% 1)
  • Reduce ¾ maternal mortality ratio between 1990 and 2015 (reach the MDGs) 2
  • Have accurate statistical indicators of abortion and its related issues to solve the unintended pregnancy among women and young girls by promoting safe sex and contraceptive method use.
  • Promote and support abortion right – women’s rights and human rights (abortion in Vietnam is legal according to Population Ordinary in 1989).

5 reasons why we should be ashamed of:

  • Unwanted pregnancy is still common
  • Parents and adults feel shy when talk about sexuality, reproductive health with their children
  • Teachers ignore and skip the Sexuality Education session at schools
  • Contraceptive Method is unmet need and difficult to access
  • Abortion myths and stigma are occurring every day in community

In conclusion, any abortion restrictions would make abortion more dangerous for the women. Evidence shows that where abortion is permitted on broad legal grounds, it is generally safe, and where it is highly restricted, it is typically unsafe­­ 3

Vietnam health manager and policy makers should be proud sometime and continuing promote safe abortion

Author: Le Hoang Minh Son