Responding to Mr Alex Yam (Chua Chu Kang GRC) in Parliament on Tuesday, Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor said 10,624 abortions were carried out last year, down from 12,032 in 2006.
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Here is the transcript of the question and answer session in Parliament:
Name of Person: Mr Alex Yam Ziming
To ask the Minister for Health (a) how many second trimester abortions were conducted in 2012; (b) what proportion of terminations of pregnancies have been for medical reasons; (c) how many girls under the age of 16 have been referred for mandatory counselling since 1 April 1999; and (d) whether any cases have been referred to the police for prosecutions for abortions below the age of 16.
In 2012, 10,624 abortions were carried out, of which 990 were carried out during the second trimester.
Less than 4 per cent of the pregnant women who underwent abortions in 2012 indicated medical reasons (such as fetal anomalies or maternal medical conditions like cancer, lupus, etc) as the reasons for abortions.
Under the Termination of Pregnancy (TOP) Regulations, it is mandatory for medical practitioners to refer an unmarried girl below 16 years of age requesting for an abortion for pre-abortion counselling at the Health Promotion Board (HPB) Counselling Centre.
The number of girls below 16 years old requiring such counselling has decreased from 109 in year 1999 to 51 in year 2012.
Abortions performed in accordance with the Termination of Pregnancy Act and Regulations are not illegal, regardless of the age of the pregnant female who undergoes the procedure.