Vietnam ranks first in Asia in abortion, among world's top 5

Vietnam is leading Asia in abortion, with about one million cases per year on average, a conference was told Tuesday

A young pregnant woman receives an examination from a doctor in Vietnam in this file photo.

Vietnam ranks first in Asia and is mong the top five countries in the world in terms of abortion, with about one million cases per year on average, according to a report released at a conference on Tuesday.

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The report was unveiled at the Vietnam-France Obstetric and Gynecological Conference that was jointly organized by the Central Obstetrics Hospital, the Vietnam Gynecology Obstetrics and Family Planning Association, and France’s Doctors Without Borders in Hanoi.

Every year one million abortions are carried out in Vietnam, corresponding to the average rate of 59.1 cases of abortion to 100 live births, the report said.

In the southeastern region, the rate is far higher, at 80 percent.

Among Vietnamese women in the reproductive age, the rate of abortion is 83 per 1,000 women and the frequency of abortion is 2.5, which means every woman does 2.5 abortions in their reproduction life on average, the report said.

Dr. Nguyen Thi Hong Minh at the Central Obstetrics Hospital, told the conference that abandoning unexpected fetuses is now a common thing in Vietnamese society.

Premarital unsafe sex has tended to increase but an improper use of contraception is one of the causes of unexpected pregnancy that leads to abortion, Dr. Minh said.

Recently, the World Health Organization ranks Vietnam among the top five countries in the world and the first in Asia when it comes to abortion.

Various reasons

In recent years, the rate of abortion has risen in Vietnam, where the abortion service is legal and made available at all levels of the health system, Dr. Minh said.

At the conference, Dr. Dang Van Hai presented a recent survey conducted by Vinh Phuc Province’s Reproductive Health Care Center among the women who used abortion services when their fetuses were under 12 weeks old.

Of these women, 34.2 percent explained that they abandoned their pregnancy because they have had the number of children as expected, 22.5 percent said they are taking care of their small children, 17.5 percent admitted they have yet to get married, 5.4 percent are students or wanted to spend more time on their work, and 11.2 percent are other subjects, Dr. Hai said.

According to Dr. Minh, the reason most women often cite for their abortion is that they want to delay their childbirth.

Meanwhile, other reasons include facing difficult financial conditions, being busy with studies, failure to have a stable job, selecting babies’ sex, and others.  

At the same conference, doctors delivered about 40 presentations on such topics as gynecology, obstetrics, neonatology, pre-birth diagnosis, and family planning.

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