Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Abortion - and Medication

From the Korea Times:
Many pregnant women make the hasty decision to have an abortion because of medication they were taking when they became pregnant.

The practice is often based on unfounded fears that the medicine could lead to fetal deformities, says Dr. Kim Tae-yoon, head of the gynecological department of Miz Medi Hospital.

"Though doctors assure them that most of the drugs are okay and recommend them to keep the baby, they just ask for the procedure," he said.

Kim's remarks came in response to the Korea Food and Drug Administration's report that about 96,000 women, 10 percent of pregnant women, were having abortions for drug-related reasons each year.

These women say they were unaware of their pregnancy when they were medicated and want to err on the side of caution by having the procedure.

Most had taken weight-loss pills, painkillers, antibiotics, cough drops and anti-histamines.

Abortions are a serious social issue, with the number of procedures reaching 339,818 in 2005. Professor Kim Hae-jung of Korea University said that one out of every five fetuses conceived in Korea is aborted. This rate is nine times that of the United States and 2.5 times that of Japan.

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