UN Praises Vietnam Population Control, But Abortion Skews Gender Ratio

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 18, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

UN Praises Vietnam Population Control, But Abortion Skews Gender Ratio Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
October 18,

Hanoi, Vietnam (LifeNews.com) — The United Nations issued a new report praising the population control efforts in Vietnam, but the paper acknowledges the devastating effects the program has had there. The family planning program has resulted in a high number of abortions and produced a gender imbalance that is causing a myriad of problems.

The new report from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) praises Vietnam for lowering its fertility rate to 2.09 children per woman, which is just below the level of replacement.

However, the pro-abortion agency warns that the sex ratio is becoming skewed in the Asian nation just as it is in India and China.

According to UNFPA, the sex ratio at birth (the number of boys born to every 100 girls) is becoming imbalanced. Part of the reason for this is the cultural preference for boys and the nation’s limit of only two children per family.

This has led to an incidence of sex-selection abortions and infanticides that are seen in other Asian countries where social norms are different from the industrialized West. It also leads to sex trafficking, child abandonment, and a society where men can’t find partners to marry and start families of their own.

The national sex ratio at birth as reported in the 2006 survey was 110 boys to every 100 girls, which slightly exceeds the expected ratio of 105-107 boys to every 100 girls.

The population levels have also stabilized in part because Vietnam has one of the highest abortion rates in the world. It is also experiencing high rates of infertility among women there, which is another sign of the damage abortion causes women.

The number of abortions in the communist nation is staggeringly high and government figures show one woman dies every five days from abortions there.

Dr. Le Thi Phuong Lan, deputy director of the Central Hospital for Obstetrics and Gynaecology’s Reproductive Assistance Centre, has noticed the recent infertility problems.

He commented on the case of Thu Trang, who was recently diagnosed with an obstructed ovary tube, which will prevent her from having any more children.

Trang had used a contraceptive intra-uterine device and Dr. Lan told Viet Nam News that such devices are causing the problems. He said previous figures from the government showed that the devices caused infections accounting for 40 percent of the cases of infertility last year and that the number has risen to 56 percent.

But Dr. Lan said similar problems are occurring after abortions.

He said that a survey conducted by Tu Du Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City found that women who had abortions were 5.2 percent more likely to suffer from infertility. The number of women who suffered from obstructed or infected ovary tubes after having abortions accounted for 40-60% of infertility cases.

The incidence of infertility will only increase until Vietnam does more to reduce the high abortion numbers.

The local Pioneer newspaper reported in April 2006 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 the average Vietnamese woman has approximately 2.5 abortions in her lifetime.

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.