Parliament: Pre-abortion counselling to be extended to all pregnant women

SINGAPORE - From Friday, pre-abortion counselling will be extended to all pregnant women seeking to end their pregancies in Singapore, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said on Monday.

In a written response to a parliamentary question posed by Mr Alex Yam (Chua Chu Kang), Mr Gan also said that existing abortion counsellors will now be required to attend a refresher course once every two years to update their skills and techniques.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) will also update its guidelines on the termination of pregnancy, which include medical, psychosocial and emotional aspects, as well as counselling materials to be used during pre-abortion counselling.

Currently, pre-abortion counselling is not compulsory for women who have not passed the Primary School Leaving Examination, have three or more children, or are foreigners.

The move follows a month-long public consultation exercise last November, where the Government sought feedback from various groups including healthcare professionals, social workers and non-governmental organisations.

Mr Gan added that MOH had conducted a briefing for the abortion institutions on the various enhancements last Tuesday.