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Vietnam Sees Over 300,000 Abortion Cases Annually, Health Ministry Says

Despite improving maternity health, high abortion rates remain one of Vietnam’s biggest challenge.

On September 23, Vietnam’s Ministry of Health organized a conference in Hanoi to commemorate the upcoming World Contraception Day (September 26), reports Dan Tri. At the event, health officials disclosed some chilling statistics on the country’s population and maternity health.

According to Nguyen Doan Tu, director of the health ministry’s Department of Population and Family Planning, every year Vietnam sees 300,000–350,000 abortions, more than any other Asian nation. The actual number could be even higher, as the figure doesn’t account for illegal cases or those not done at a clinic.

Adolescent females — from 13 to 19 years old — make up the majority of unexpected pregnancies, at 62% of the total, showing a gap in awareness of contraception and reproductive health among young women. As a whole, every year Vietnam’s population increases by one million. The number of female citizens of childbearing age (15–49) is rising and expected to reach the maximum percentage in 2027-2028.

Dinh Huy Duong, a health promotion official at the department, expressed concerns about Vietnam’s high rates of unexpected pregnancies among teens and young adults. “In our research, [we found that] some consume two-three morning-after pills in two-three months; that’s once every month. Some even bought their own abortion pills,” Duong told VOV.

At the event, the family planning department also unveiled a new mobile application called Song Chu Dong (Proactive Living). Developed by the Ministry of Health, the app includes detailed information on various contraceptives and reproductive health.

Despite worrying figures on unplanned pregnancies and abortions, improving access to medical care in Vietnam has also increased survival rates among mothers. Since the 1990s, maternal mortality rates have plummeted by nearly 75%, from 233 per 100,000 live births to only 58.3, according to data from the Ministry of Health.

[Photo via Luat Vietnam]

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