All conservatives are not ‘religious’. The majority of the population of Singapore are conservatives. But ‘conservative’ is not universal. it is fractals; infinitely complex.
Some liberal NGOs like Singapore Planned Parenthood Association (SPPA), were used by the conservative government of Singapore in the late 60s to early 80s, for their “Two is Enough” propaganda, which was bought wholesale by a huge population of Singapore. When they tried to reverse the trend, upon realizing that it is a mistake, the damage has already been done! In fact SPPA claim on their website that, “It was instrumental in helping to persuade the government to adopt an official population policy in 1966. With the government providing family planning, the Association began advocating family life education and sexuality education promoting programme initiatives and services in the key areas of public education, counselling and training.”
SPPA claims to be pro-choice. But what does it actually advocate? In an article titled “Risque Teens at Risk”, dated September 18, 2008 in the Mind & Body subsection paper of the Straits Times, Ms. Kelly Lee, programme officer and counsellor at SPPA when asked for comments on sexually active teens said, “We believe in giving youths the right to choose. We provide information on sexual health and ask them to consider the consequences of their actions. The best choice when you’re not ready though is definitely abstinence.” With surging hormones, many youths do not have the capacity to choose. In the same article, Ms. Lee admits that youths as young as 12 or 13, are beginning to get curious about sex. How does a 12 or 13 year old know if he or she is ready for sex? How than can choice be even an option? Do they even have the capacity to consider their actions? Ms. Lee continues to add, “They should know that there are responsibilities that come with sex.” How can a 12, 13 or even an older youth comprehend the gravity of sexual relationships? The abstinence spoken by SPPA is only a mirage to cover their true intentions. Pro-choice usually means pro-promiscuity. And the real dilemma faced by many post-abortion youths is often not adequately addressed.
Despite calls to review Singapore’s pro-choice law, the government unreservedly said that the law would remain as status quo. Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan said in Parliament that the decision has previously been debated at length and is one that respects “the different views that some community and religious groups” have. The minister gives the impression that the government does not cave in to the conservative lobbyist to amend the pro-choice law. But in doing so, the government is continuing a policy which was lobbied upon it by a liberal NGO, which may not reflect the actual opinions of the population at large.