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News Forum - Abortions up to 20 weeks will be legal from Thursday


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Women in Thailand now will be able to get a legal abortion up to 20 weeks into their pregnancy. Last year Thailand legalised abortion up to 12 weeks. The new guidelines will go into effect on Thursday and abortions will be performed at 110 hospitals and clinics throughout the nation. This follows the decision by the Ministry of Public Health about consultations and examinations for pregnant women. The ministry issued an edict last month considering women who may not have access to proper consultation regarding their pregnancy. When a woman is in a situation where she is unable or unready […]

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Good for you, Thailand!

"The move has been seen as a huge accomplishment by pro-choice advocates who have been calling for the legalisation of abortion in Thailand for over a decade. Thailand has been plagued with unviable or unwanted pregnancies and a lack of support available for pregnant women in peril."

I think it is a good decision for a couple of reasons.

First and foremost, I think that there is a basic right to control what goes on in one's body. Period. Simply put, if a woman has a fetus growing in her, she is the one who can/should decide what happens to it, not some (usually) old religious guy who got elected to a job.

Secondly, the decision to go for 20 weeks roughly corresponds to the idea of "Viability". "Viability" is the time when a fetus can survive outside of the womb, so before 20 weeks abortion on demand and after 20 or so weeks... Well, it gets more complicated.

Third, I think that this decision benefits society as a whole. I believe that the woman should make the decision, but let's not forget that the decision is rarely made in a vacuum; the sperm donor, her doctor, her family, her friends and perhaps others will have a say (but not a final one). This is a good thing; a woman needs to decide if it is a good time to have a child or not. Is she old enough? Does she/ the family have enough cash? Can they provide a good home for a baby? The list of questions is long, and it is a good thing to be as sure as one can be before bringing a new life into being; an unwanted child is the saddest thing ever.

After 20 weeks or so, things get a wee bit more complex. I personally am happy to leave the decision solely to the woman up until the time she actually drops the kid on the operating table, but I recognize that there are... other ethical considerations too. Ultimately, the woman needs to be the one making the decision, but I would be okay with something like a mandatory doctor consultation or some other sort of... counselling (?) due to the myriad of issues involved.

Finally, while I am very much Pro-Choice, I should note that I also have great respect for those commonly called Pro-Life. Our technologies, our medical advances, out system(s) of bio-ethics and all of the potential issues revolving around living things requires great caution, and I want the Pro-Life people screaming and shouting every step of the way; these decisions should never be taken in an unserious manner, but rather deserve all the thoughts and wisdom possible. Put another way, I think having a Pro-Life starting point for ethical discussions is a good, good thing; just not as the only, final word.

So, Pro-Life people; keep shouting!


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There is evidence for foetal awareness long before 20 weeks gestation. Not as early as some pro=lifers might wish, but nothing to justify 2nd trimester abortion. In an age when octopuses and crabs now have some degree of rights.

If it feels, it should be respected, if it might feel, it should still be respected, just in case.

Curious this was pushed through under the Prayut regime. Maybe they're planning up to a big backlash against it, like Trump has in America? Because Planned Parenthood has been active in Thailand for some while now. 

Edited by Karolyn
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