'Infrastructure of support' can encourage unwed mums-to-be

'Infrastructure of support' can encourage unwed mums-to-be

I read the article ("Refuge for young women facing pregnancy crisis"; last Sunday) with personal interest.

Providing more structured support for unwed mums-to-be will contribute significantly to solving our population replacement crisis.

It is an irony that the Government does everything it can to encourage couples to have babies, yet does not do enough to help mums-to-be keep babies that are already conceived.

That said, I am not for the repeal of the Termination of Pregnancy Act. It is important to ensure that those who choose to abort can do so safely.

It is only natural for unwed women to want to move on because of family rejection, shame and other factors. For most of them, abortion is a seemingly less traumatic option. That is, of course, only partially true, for it is not disputed that the emotional trauma and guilt of abortion often haunts the woman for years.

If an "infrastructure of support" is given to help keep the baby, many women will be more likely to choose that option. In fact, the process of carrying the baby to term will activate the woman's maternal instincts to protect the child.

By infrastructure of support, I mean more financial and social-emotional support given by the Government.

Parents will need to be counselled and be supportive of their daughter's decision to keep the baby; schools and society need to be welcoming and not judgmental; and society as a whole needs to stop stigmatising such women.

I know this will work because my daughter was an unwed mum-to-be in Canada almost 20 years ago. Because there was an infrastructure of support in place, she gave birth to our grandson. She was herself wonderfully transformed when she became a mother at 20. With a child in tow, she completed her PhD and, today, her son is an undergraduate in her alma mater.

I am grateful she had another option. As a nation, we can well afford to give that option to the thousands of women who undergo abortions each year.

William Wan (Dr)

This article was first published on Oct 5, 2014.
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