A woman may decide on the unplanned pregnancy on impulse, or having considered the options over many weeks and months. We recognize that the decision making process is affected by the woman’s age, personal beliefs/ethos, marital status, social support system, financial attributes, religious-cultural backgrounds and health factors. Across many countries, the most frequently cited reasons to seek abortion are socio-economic concerns and limiting childbearing. It is obvious that financial circumstances significantly influence a woman’s reproductive decision making.
In the early 2000s, a Swedish study reported the reasons for induced abortion as (1) desire to postpone childbearing (60%), (2) partner related concerns (32%), and being financially unprepared (32%). A 2004 US survey found that abortion was sought mainly for lack of financial preparedness (56%), partner related issues (55%) and interference with future opportunities (54%). Similarly, in the Singapore setting, women have abortions for many reasons, and these vary across socio-demographic characteristics, cultural practice and expectations and access to affordable health service. In today’s Singapore social climate, the high cost of child bearing and education, and the diminishing kins’ support for child-care, feature prominently in determining the desired number, timing and spacing of births.
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