What you need to know
People say the regulation might lead to teenagers reluctant to seek medical treatment and even look to alternative abortion methods that could threaten their mental and physical health.
In recent years, the average age of first sexual intercourse has been dropping. The Ministry of Health and Welfare conducted a survey that showed the rate of teenagers’ first sexual experience; 12.7% were 18 years old, 9.2% were 17, 5.6% were 16, 2.8% were 15 and 0.1% were 14.
Regarding this, the ministry is demanding hospitals and clinics to report pregnancy treatment of adolescent girls under the age of 16 in line with sexual assaults.
The ministry says, according to Article 53 of the Protection of Children and Youths Welfare and Rights Act and Article 8 of the Sexual Assault Crime Prevention Act, medical personnel is obligated to inform authorities of the situation mentioned above.
This has triggered backlash from gynecologists. Huang Min-zhao, secretary general of the Taiwan Association of Obstetrics and Gynecology, points out that if the regulation is implemented, not only does it violate medial ethics and harm doctors and patients, but also leads to these teenagers reluctant to seek medical treatment. They might even look to alternative abortion methods that could threaten their mental and physical health.
Translated by Olivia Yang