Women's foundation pushes bill to protect pregnant students, transsexuals
The Women's Health Advocacy Foundation is putting pressure on the government to pass the Reproductive Health Rights Promotion and Protection Act, which if successful, would give pregnant students the legal right to continue their studies, while allowing transsexuals the right choose their sex.
"The foundation expects to officially propose the Reproductive Health Rights Promotion and Protection bill for legislation by September next year," Assoc Prof Kritaya Archavanitkul of Mahidol University's Institute for Population and Social Research said at a public forum on the people's version of the bill yesterday, which also addresses birth control and abortion issues.
Kritaya said when doctors refused to abort unwanted pregnancies some women were forced to turn to illegal clinics where they faced serious health risks.
Dr Kittipong Saejeng, who heads the Bureau of Reproductive Health, said that according to available records, about 29.2 per cent of females who sought abortion last year, did so because they wished to continue their studies.
He added that the average age at which people first had sex was now between 14 and 15 years old. "It used to be around 18 and 19 years old," he said, adding that some girls were only 10 years old when they delivered their first child.
Kittipong said only 54 out of 1,000 girls aged between 15 and 19 gave birth to babies at legal medical facilities last year. The number of child deliveries by females younger than 20 years old stood at 365 per day last year, up from 240 per day a decade ago, he said.