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What are the advantages to legalizing abortion?

Babies would not be thrown into dust bin by


irresponsible parents. Crime rate can also be reduced significantly.

Consider the following scenarios. 1) The couple has sex, pregnancy, abortion is not legalized,
the man runs away or the baby gets thrown into the garbage can or flushed down the toilet.
2) A happily married couple who's not ready for kids, wife suddenly became pregnant,
abortion is not legalized, baby born, ruins marriage, divorced. 3) A low-income couple with
wife pregnant, abortion is not legalized, forces to give birth, the child is raised, no money for
school, perhaps work at food stalls.

Think about if these children were given birth to, how would they be raised? If they're
unwanted in the first place, then, certainly, their childhood lives will be miserable. They will
suffer from lack of care, lack of discipline and which results in bad behavior and generally
leads to the commitment of crime.

The United States is a perfect example. According to Donohue and Levitt's study, male aged
between 18 to 24 are most likely to commit crime. With the abortion legalized in the United
States in 1973, it has led to a significant drop in crime 18 years later. It started in 1992 and
dropped tremendously in 1995 which should have been the peak commiting-crime years.
Since 1973, over 45 million legal abortions have been performed in the United States alone.

however that is not the case thats happening right now.

i agree that abortion should be legal regardless of marital status. The cause for all these
unwanted babies probably stem from a lack of support from a partner or thereof to begin
with. Hence the life of the newborn, unfortunately ends up as collateral damage from the
mother's predicament.

Better to abort an unborn then to bring them to a life of misery where they are not wanted.

I must say though however, this is a very touchy subject and has been debated since men
can remember. At which stage of the baby's development cycle can you classify them as a
life? or whether or not an unwanted baby can have hope of leading a proper life, etc.

The debate has always been about how much we value human life. YES. We don't want to
end a baby's life.
But do YOU want to care for it? Will YOU pay extra taxes so we can feed it? It is a tragedy
that the Mum and Dad doesn't want their own baby but you know what?

Would you damn someone to having parents that essentially resents them? No love and
care from his/her family?

Hell, I'm not even pro-choice per-se. I don't think a woman should have the choice to end a
person's life. However, if the baby isn't going to be cared for anyway, might as well.
Abortion in Malaysia

On 13 February 2011, an article in the New Straits Times (“Is abortion the answer?”)
highlighted a fact which is little-known but ought not to be. Abortion is not illegal in
Malaysia.

Section 312 of the Penal Code states that a termination of pregnancy is permitted in
circumstances where there is risk to the life of the pregnant woman or threat of injury to her
physical or mental health.

Although terminations are permitted, the law is nevertheless limited. Under the Penal Code
it is the doctor alone who makes the decision as to whether a termination should be carried
out. This is especially worrying in view of the results from the 2007 survey by the
Reproductive Rights Advocacy Alliance of Malaysia (RRAAM) which found that only 57 per
cent of 120 doctors and nurses surveyed knew that abortion is legal in certain circumstances.

Women have the right to determine the course of their lives and they have the right to make
decisions about their own bodies.

Women must be equipped with knowledge and be aware of the options available to them,
so that they can make informed decisions. However expert a doctor may be, doctors will
never be fully aware of the facts of a woman's circumstances and so cannot make a
completely informed decision about the appropriateness of a given option. It is the woman
who has this understanding and it is the woman who should be legally and practically
empowered to make the decision.

However, many women cannot make this fully informed decision because they are not
provided with comprehensive and unbiased information about sex, contraception, abortion
and sexually transmitted diseases. This needs to change.

It is encouraging to note that the government has recently introduced the Social and
Reproductive Health Education Programme into the National Service curriculum, so that
young people can be given the knowledge they need to make informed choices.

And this is the crux of the issue – when people are provided with clear and unbiased
information, they can make the most appropriate decisions for themselves.

Sarah Thwaites

Programme Officer, WAO

Published on February 13, 2011

- See more at:


http://www.wao.org.my/news_details.php?nid=86&ntitle=Abortion+in+Malaysia#sthash.BP
B7OzMm.dpuf
Abortion law Malaysia

Abortion is legal.

From International Consortium for Medical Abortion:

Brief history of the law

Malaysian Penal Code sections 312 -315 covers abortion; originally taken from the Indian
Penal code 1871 which made abortion totally illegal. In 1971, an amendment made it legal to
save the life of the woman. In 1989, under pressure from the medical fraternity, another
amendment was made to allow an exception.

The Penal Code (Amendment) Act 1989 (Act 727), which came into force in May, 1989,
widened the criteria for carrying out abortions.

Before the amendments came into force, the only grounds for an abortion were "for the
purpose of saving the life of the woman" (Section 312). Now, an abortion may be carried out
if the practitioner is of the opinion, formed "in good faith", that continuation of the
pregnancy would constitute a risk of injury to the "mental or physical health of the pregnant
woman, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated".

Short summary of conditions within the law

The present law clearly permits abortion to be performed by a registered medical


practitioner under conditions

To save the life of the woman

To preserve physical health

To preserve mental health


Countries Abortion Profile

Home > Country profiles > Malaysia

Malaysia

ExpandExpand all Chapters |

1. Law related to Abortion

Brief history of the law

Malaysian Penal Code sections 312 -315 covers abortion; originally taken from the Indian
Penal code 1871 which made abortion totally illegal. In 1971, an amendment made it legal to
save the life of the woman. In 1989, under pressure from the medical fraternity, another
amendment was made to allow an exception.

The Penal Code (Amendment) Act 1989 (Act 727), which came into force in May, 1989,
widened the criteria for carrying out abortions.

Before the amendments came into force, the only grounds for an abortion were "for the
purpose of saving the life of the woman" (Section 312). Now, an abortion may be carried out
if the practitioner is of the opinion, formed "in good faith", that continuation of the
pregnancy would constitute a risk of injury to the "mental or physical health of the pregnant
woman, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated".

Short summary of conditions within the law

The present law clearly permits abortion to be performed by a registered medical


practitioner under conditions 1-3; however, some legal opinions conclude that where
conditions 4 and 5 exist i.e rape, incest or fetal impairment, they would also be covered by
condition 3.

To save the life of the woman

To preserve physical health

To preserve mental health


Rape or incest

Foetal impairment

Economic or social reasons

Available on request

Analysis of it being restrictive if at all

Current climate of opinion seems to favour a stricter interpretation of the law where the
phrase ‘injury to mental health' is regarded as requiring a psychiatric opinion of mental
illness needing treatment before such indication is accepted. Thus government medical
facilities do not generally provide abortions except where there is a serious threat of medical
complications such as hypertension or severe diabetes.

The private sector on the other hand will usually provide abortions where they have suitable
facilities but consider these procedures as a clandestine. Most will not let it be known that
they provide such services in their clinics. Thus, while there are many safe providers, the
problem of finding a service provider at short notice is a problem. The lack of openness also
leads to exploitation and exorbitant fees charged by some doctors.

2. Policy

(Government policy enabling for the law, enabling beyond the law in practice etc such as
population control policy, pro- natalist policy, anti sex selection policy, two child family norm)
The Government had previously adopted a pro-natalist policy in the 1980's which had a
deleterious effect on the contraceptive services in the country. This was designed to boost
economic activity to enlarge the workforce and consumer base. The contraceptive
prevalence rate (CPR) is therefore quite low compared to other countries in the region (48%
in 2005).

3. Second Trimester Abortion

4. Practice
The lack of interest in making abortion safe and more accessible has prevented the adoption
of modern technology in the medical fraternity eg. Manual vacuum aspiration and medical
abortions. Training in medical schools also lacking.

5. Reproductive Health Perspective

6. Abortion Statistics

No official data are collected on abortions. Mortality from unsafe abortions is < 5 per year.
Statisticians, in reviewing our data which shows a low Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR)
of 48% for all methods (but only 32% for modern methods) and low Total Fertility Rate (TFR)
of 2.5 children, consider the rate of abortions to be in the range of 1 in every 5 pregnancies
based on patterns found in other countries with a high Human Development Index (HDI).
They feel more comprehensive data should be collected to ascertain the real situation on
the ground.

7. Public sector

Abortion services available.

Basically, there is no official guideline from the Ministry of Health on indications for
provision of abortions in a government facility. However, as mentioned earlier, where there
is a serious medical condition which can be considered life-threatening; termination is
usually provided. There is no specific maximum length of gestation but 24 weeks is
considered age of viability.

8. Private Sector

Abortion services in the private sector are not regulated by the government. Almost all
specialist gynaecologists in the private sector will provide surgical abortion except a few who
have religious objections. Many general practitioners with minor surgical facilities will also
do so. The safety of the procedure is excellent but the quality of service considered
mandatory in comprehensive abortion care (CAC) is variable e.g. with regards to pre-
abortion counseling and post abortion care. Fees are also variable; an early first trimester
abortion can cost from US$60 – 800/-.
Medical abortion is not widely available and usually consists of providing only misoprostol
tablets to be taken at home. Methotrexte is available but rarely used and mifepristone is not
registered but some supplies are available on the ‘black market'. Generally, medical abortion
is also not well known and the private sector considers surgical abortion less ‘troublesome'
and ‘convenient' to both the client and the clinic in terms of follow-up assessment (also
more ‘profitable'?)

For surgical abortions

1 st Trimester : US$80/- to $120/-

2 nd Trimester : US$ 150/- to $800/-

For Medical abortion: US$60/- to $120/-

9. Methods used

For first and early 2 nd trimester abortions as covered in above para.

2 nd Trimester with Ethacridine lactate , Misoprostol, D&E, Hysterotomy.

Hysterotomy under GA in maternity homes and hospitals for US$800/- to $1000/-

10. Provider level allowed for surgical and medical abortion

Only registered medical practitioner can perform abortions. Does not need to be a specialist.

11. Abortion related morbidity mortality statistics

Extremely low; less than 5 per year in the last 3 years.

12. Manufacture and/or availability through import of abortion equipment (MVA syringes,
EVA equipment)
All abortion equipment is imported. Ipas and Rocket are major suppliers of MVA sets.

13. Manufacture / import of Mifepristone, Misoprostol

Misoprostol is sold as Cytotec is imported; mifepristone is not registered but limited


quantities are available from India.

14. Facility and provider certification norms in brief

Only certification required is a general degree in medicine from a recognised university


locally or abroad.

15. Information available in national service delivery standards

There are no standards set for service delivery of abortion services as it is not recognised as
a standard service.

16. Informal / illegal providers - if present who are they

Very few informal providers practice in the urban areas but traditional massage (Urut) and
herbs (Jammu) are used in many rural communities.

17. Population urban/ rural: Demography of the country, with an analysis of availability of
abortion services ratio to population

Total population is 28 million; East Malaysia is more rural and West Malaysia is more
urbanised. Overall, urbanisation is about 36% of the population. Generally, the most
inaccessible rural areas are in East Malaysia where medical emergencies need to be
transported by airlifts. We don not have information on abortion access in rural areas in
Malaysia but most probably they resort to traditional massage and herbs.
18. Role of government

Supportive, enabling, creating barriers, provides adequate funding to run training and
service delivery programmes.

The Government has so far given a very low profile to abortion laws and services; each state
medical dept seems to give its own guidelines on policy and practice. RRAAM is the only
NGO trying to open up the issue amongst the stake-holders e.g. NGOs, Government and the
health professionals.

19. Role of religion / religious leaders

The Catholic Doctors' Association has expressed strong objections to permitting abortion.
Different Islamic groups have varying views; the more take liberal groups recognise that
‘ensoulment' of the fetus takes place only after 100-120 days after conception and thus
permits an abortion before that date. The Sisters-in-Islam, which promotes Muslim women's
rights through theological arguments, have been a strong promoter of the latter position.

20. Local Ob Gyn societes

Most members of the O&G fraternity take a conservative view in interpreting the law but a
more permissive view in practice. Thus most providers still keep a very low profile preferring
not to discuss the issue in public. RRAAM has arranged a symposium on abortion laws and
rights during the coming AGM of the O&G Society of Malaysia in June 2009.

21. Current status and potential of research

No direct data has ever been collect by the Ministry of Health on abortion; providers are not
required to report this to the government. Small surveys of abortion clients from a private
clinic have been done to gauge their experiences, knowledge and attitudes. Much more
comprehensive need to be collected in order to plan appropriate policies to increase
contraceptive use and facilitate access to safe early abortions.
22. Awareness amongst community members

Seminars with NGOs have revealed widespread ignorance of the law on abortion. This
includes members of the medical and legal professions.

23. Role of member organization/ individual

Reproductive Rights Advocacy Alliance is a group of NGOs and individuals supporting a need
for advocacy on the issue of Reproductive Rights for women. Our work involves research and
evidence-based advocacy with all relevant stake holders.