Taiwanese Christians and Buddhists gathered together this month to demand that the government amend a provision in the Generic Health Act, which they believe is responsible for an increase of abortions in in Taiwan. The protest, organized by Stand for Life, took place in front of the presidential office in Taipei, and pro-life advocates on both sides of the religious divide came together to state that abortion is murder.
Abortion on-demand does not yet exist in Taiwan, but the provision widened the legal acceptability of abortion by stipulating that women may request abortion in cases where they feel that the possibility of having a child affects their mental health or family life.
In an effort to provide pregnant women with care without endangering the lives of their unborn children, opponents of the law are pushing for a mandatory one-week period of reflection before a woman goes through with her abortion, and they believe that women should be assigned counselors — who are separate from the women’s doctors — to address the reasons why they feel abortion is their only recourse.
Juanita Hebard, who runs a home for unmarried mothers called Ray of Hope, said that abortions in Taiwan are sometimes treated so lightly that asking a woman if she wants to end her pregnancy is “like asking them if they want a cup of coffee, as if it was nothing serious.” Pro-life advocates like Hebard and the participants in Stand for Life seek to provide better options for Taiwanese women than abortion.