Vietnam Sees More Abortions Than Live Births in Ho Chi Minh City

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 26, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Vietnam Sees More Abortions Than Live Births in Ho Chi Minh City Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 26,

Hanoi, Vietnam ( — The number of abortions has declined in Ho Chi Minh City, but the large Asian city still sees more abortions there than live births. Vietnam has long had one of the highest abortion rates in both Asia and the world and the United Nations recently said sex-selection abortions are causing significant gender gaps.

The VietNamNet Bridge news service reports that the number of abortions in HCM City in 2006 fell by 30% from 2000, with 103,972 abortions.

Doctor Duong Phuong Mai, who heads the family planning department at Tu Du Obstetrics Hospital, said there were 19,000 abortions there from January to September 2007 and about the same number of births. That’s something that has been going on for years.

Despite the decline, the city failed to meet the goals the national government has set — of reducing abortions by 50 percent.

Part of the reason abortions are so high in the city VietNamNet Bridge reports is that the number of abortions on teenagers is rising.

According to figures the city government sent to national officials, HCM City hopes to reduce abortions there by 10 percent annually from now until 2010.

In October, the UN issued a new report praising the population control efforts in Vietnam but acknowledged the devastating effects the program has had there.

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 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.

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.