Health System To Add Services Preventing Unsafe Abortions

The Thai government has agreed to add services to prevent unsafe abortion to the national healthcare system, hoping to provide assistance to Thai women of all ages who need to terminate their pregnancies.

On Tuesday, deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek said authorities understood the problems related to unplanned pregnancies.

Latest reports showed that a considerably higher number of pregnant women had decided to terminate unintended pregnancies, facing health risks from unsafe abortions.

In response, hoping to care for the health and safety of women of all ages who resort to any health care treatment scheme to terminate a pregnancy, the National Health Security Office (NHSO) has added unsafe abortion prevention services to the national healthcare system.

Such preventive services range from medications to surgical procedures to terminate a pregnancy.

According to Ms. Rachada, 144 service units had registered with the Department of Health to provide abortion services in at least 23 provinces.

The news came after the government announced an amendment to Criminal Code’s Section 305 (5) that regulates abortions to allow elective pregnancy termination for women who are between 12 and 20 weeks pregnant.

Published in the Royal Gazette on September 26, the amendment comes into force in less than 30 days.

The NHSO collected information about services to prevent unsafe abortion during pregnancy before the decision, Ms. Rachada explained.

In order to prevent unplanned pregnancies in adult women and unwanted pregnancies among adolescents, the gold card health fund granted some benefits.

Some were coverage for anti-permanent contraceptives such as intrauterine devices and contraceptive implants for women undergoing abortions, the deputy government spokeswoman added.

Also, in the coming year, the NHSO hopes to provide more access to emergency contraceptive pills, also known as morning-after pills, through pharmacies for women who want to prevent pregnancy, Ms. Rachada stated.

The office has also expanded service units, expecting to provide temporary contraception services in medical clinics, drugstores, community health care clinics, and nursing clinics that are now part of the universal health scheme, she went on.