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Singapore Sees Abortion Totals Rise, Underpopulation Over Economic Downturn
Just as initial numbers in the United States are showing an increase in the number of abortions thanks to the poor economy, the Asian nation-state of Singapore is experiencing the same phenomenon.

The country is also experiencing an underpopulation problem and the increase in abortions isn't helping.

Despite a national campaign to boost the birthrate, Singapore has one of Asia's most pro-abortion policies and the global financial crisis could be prompting more abortions. A Ministry of Health spokeswoman said there were 12,222 abortions in the city-state last year, compared to 11,933 in 2007. No official figures are available for 2009.

Abortion practitioner Saifuddin Sidek told AP his private practice had recorded a 20 percent rise in abortion customers so far this year compared with the same period last year. "A lot of them are because of the current economic climate," he said. He said the government programs to try to increase the birth rate fall short when couples think about the economy. "No matter what incentives the government gives, (parents) may find it a bit hard to make ends meet, especially if they already have more than (one or) two children," he said.

Government figures show 39,935 babies delivered in 2008, well below the 60,000 Singapore needs just to maintain its native population. Latest official data put the 2007 fertility rate, the number of births for each woman in her lifetime, at 1.29 births. The ideal population replacement rate is 2.1 births per woman. [4May09, #4602, Singapore, Singapore]