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Covid-19 causes ‘Koi’ to contemplate an abortion

Sean Kelly

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Chiang Mai Times

The Planned Parenthood Association of Thailand, under the Patronage of HRH the Princess Mother, marks their 50th anniversary tomorrow, but today more than ever, Thai women are being forced to ask the difficult question of how to manage an unplanned pregnancy during the Covid-19 global pandemic.

As government policies to contain the Covid-19 virus continue to devastate Thailand’s economy, some pregnant women are considering abortion as a solution to an unplanned pregnancy.

39 year old Koi from the northeast city of Khon Kaen chose to terminate her pregnancy after her family’s earnings massively dropped due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“My pregnancy was unplanned. I was six weeks in. This new reality was disorienting. I know it isn’t a good way and many people may think what I’m about to do is morally wrong, but I have no choice and it’s hard to accept.”

Koi, her husband and two children aged 14 and 10, own a food shop in downtown Khon Kaen. Their income has dropped 50% to 70%, her savings nearly wiped out.

Koi and her husband were earning roughly 30,000 baht, but now they earn less than 10,000 baht per month, barely enough to feed her family, the Bangkok Post reports.

“When I found out I was pregnant again I was shocked because I don’t know how I can afford a third child. We have extremely limited funds and live in a small house. No one knows when we will return to ordinary life. The Covid-19 pandemic has really destroyed our livelihoods.”

After discussing the unplanned pregnancy with her husband, Koi thought for days what is best for her family before allowing a close friend to take her to a family planning clinic in Khon Kaen run by the PPAT.

After speaking with doctors at the clinic, Koi said “I needed someone who could advise me and listen to my problems. I came to the right place, as the doctors here paid attention to my case.”

“She did not pressure me and explained everything to me, especially the risk of conceiving at 39 years old. So, I thought it over and decided to terminate my pregnancy. I want my child to grow up with good health and access to high quality education. I don’t want my child to be a burden on society if he or she is not properly nourished.”

Somchai Kaemthong, PR director of PPAT said PPAT works under the medical guidelines and practices of the Medical Council.

“Women can have an abortion if they are no more than 12 weeks pregnant and they must give their consent before. If women under 20 want to end their pregnancy, parents must give their consent.” Mr Somchai said.

SOURCES: Chiang Rai Times | Bangkok Post | PPAT

 

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