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Friday, March 9, 2012

WOMEN / Vietnam: Paying women to abort children

Against abortion, for life: Vietnamese Catholics mark International Women's Day 
by Thanh Thuy 

The Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee has launched a new family planning campaign that includes US$ 50 and free health care for women who terminate their pregnancy. For the Church, which opposes materialism, human life is non-negotiable. Saigon catechist says sex education is needed to speak to young people.

Ho Chi Minh City (AsiaNews) - For Vietnamese Catholics, International Women's Day (8 March) provided an opportunity to reiterate the non-negotiable values of human life, from conception, and to renew the fight against abortion. Recently, the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee launched a family planning campaign (similar to those in other Asian nations) to encourage poor and young women to end their pregnancy in exchange for US$ 50 and health care insurance. However, in schools, offices and families, International Women's Day, the day was used to promote traditional values and culture, listen to Bible readings and remember that "God created human beings as males and females," with equal dignity to "complete one another."
In today's Vietnam, men still rule. Women are relegated to marginal roles, often discriminated, victims of violence and abuse behind the walls of home. The country's pervasive socialist culture has led to a moral collapse, and values have imploded, especially among young people who are the first victims of the omnipresent materialism. The latter leads youth to live and work under a rigid political ideology whose ultimate goal is the accumulation of wealth, as confirmed by professors, sociologists and educators.
"To deal with social problems, the government and the education system need to have programmes of sex education that promote human dignity," said Maria H. T., a catechist in Ho Chi Minh City. "On behalf of the Catholic Church in Vietnam, we must talk with teens and parents that abortion is murder and a felony"
In the former Saigon, Catholics are against the government's family planning policies. The current five-year plan (2011-2015), which aims at imposing population controls, includes the possibility of going to hospital for sterilisation in exchange for US$ 50 and a two-year free health care card.
Such policies lead young women to kill their foetus for money. For every 100 live births, 75 have no chance to come into this world because they are "unwanted".
A recent survey shows that 51 per cent of students and young people who live in the cities are in favour of abortion. Many also think that it is normal for young men and women to live together before marriage. For many, it is acceptable that teenage girls have legal abortions.
Figures from local health agencies indicate that each 1,400,000 abortions are performed. That includes 500,000 among women under the age of 18.  
According to the most recent data (2009), Vietnam has a population of 85,789,573, 43,307,024 of whom are women.
Some 25,374,262 or 29.6 per cent live in cities; the rest, 70.4 per cent, live in the rural areas, which are often poor and backward.
The fertility rate is 19.58 per 1,000 women. The infant mortality rate is 29.88 per 1,000.