I am writing in response to your article about medical abortion drugs (August 4, 2009). Many hope the imminent introduction of medical abortion drugs will save women's lives by providing a safe alternative to black-market abortion pills. I strongly support the government's efforts, but health officials should also produce clear instructions on how to take the pills, including their side-effects and how often they should be taken.
Based on my own research into sexual relationships between young people, women who have pregnancies terminated at unregistered clinics tend to fear abortion more than sexually transmitted diseases. Many suffer painful experiences when relying on ineffective black-market abortion pills.
According to [the National Centre for HIV/AIDS Dermatology and STDs], Cambodia is recognised for its success in combating HIV and AIDS. It is estimated that the prevalence rate among adults aged 15 to 49 declined from 1.2 percent in 2003 to 0.9 percent in 2006. The number of men using condoms with their long-term partners may be on the rise, according to a recent survey, but that number still remains low.
In my opinion, the two are related. The ready availability of medical abortion drugs may discourage women from using condoms and act as a barrier to the goal of 100 percent condom use. I would suggest the government should introduce medical abortion drugs, but should limit how much they are promoted.
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The views expressed above are solely the author's and do not reflect any positions taken by The Phnom Penh Post.