Vietnam Abortion Rates Very High, One Woman Dies Every Five Days

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 3, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Vietnam Abortion Rates Very High, One Woman Dies Every Five Days Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 3, 2006

Hanoi, Vietnam ( — New reports out of Vietnam, where abortion is legal, are showing the number of abortions in the Communist nation is staggeringly high. In addition, one woman dies form a legal abortion in the Asian nation every five days.

The local Pioneer newspaper reported on Monday that there are 83 abortions for every 1,000 Vietnamese women of the childbearing age. That compares with a birth rate of only 17 babies born per 1,000 women.

The report said each local Vietnamese woman has approximately 2.5 abortions in her lifetime.

About one-third to one-half of the abortions performed there are done in small health clinics but women are dying at an alarming rate.

The Vietnamese government is hoping to lower the abortion rates and is encouraging the 83 million people who live there to use contraception in higher numbers. It is also planning a new sex education campaign to encourage teens and young adults to use contraception as well.

Vietnam has long had one of the highest abortion rates in both Asia and the world and the number of abortions has been on the rise. According to national health statistics, 760,000 abortions were carried out in 1989, 1.3 million in 1994 and 1.4 million in 1995.

In 1999, the pro-abortion Alan Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of Planned Parenthood, reported that Vietnam had the highest abortion rate of any nation.

While experts say the communist government does not espouse abortion as a birth control method, the procedure is "heavily subsidized by the government," and "many published family planning campaigns still list abortion as a method of birth control" according to the Deutsche Presse-Agentur news agency.

Vietnam is one of two countries to receive an award from the United Nations in 1998 for its population control programs.

In Vietnam, abortion is legal and available as part of overall family planning services provided at various provincial, district and communal health facilities.

Approximately 51 percent of the residents of Viet Nam are women.