SINGAPORE.   Termination of Pregnancy Act.

 

Short title.

1. This Act may be cited as the Termination of Pregnancy Act.

 

Interpretation.


2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires

 

"approved institution" means any institution, hospital, maternity home, clinic or other place for the time being approved by the Minister for the purposes of this Act;

 

"authorised medical practitioner" means any medical practitioner who is authorised under any regulations made under this Act to carry out treatment to terminate pregnancy;

 

"law relating to abortion" means sections 312, 313, 314, and 315 of the Penal Code;

 

"medical practitioner" means any person registered under the Medical Registration Act.

 

Medical termination of pregnancy.


3. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, no person shall be guilty of an offence under the law relating to abortion when a pregnancy is terminated by an authorised medical practitioner acting on the request of a pregnant woman and with her written consent.

 

(2) Except as provided by section 10, every treatment to terminate pregnancy shall be carried out by an authorised medical practitioner in an approved institution.

 

(3) No treatment to terminate pregnancy shall be carried out by an authorised medical practitioner unless the pregnant woman

 

(a) is a citizen of Singapore or is the wife of a citizen of Singapore;

 

(b) is the holder, or is the wife of a holder, of an employment pass or a work permit pass issued under the Immigration Act; or

 

(c) has been resident in Singapore for a period of at least 4 months immediately preceding the date on which such treatment is to be carried out,

 

but this subsection shall not apply to any treatment to terminate pregnancy which is immediately necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman.

 

(4) Any person who contravenes or fails to comply with this section shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $3,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or to both.


Treatment to terminate pregnancy not to be carried out if pregnancy is of more than a certain duration unless in special circumstances.


4. (1) No treatment for the termination of pregnancy shall be carried out

 

(a) if the pregnancy is of more than 24 weeks duration unless the treatment is immediately necessary to save the life or to prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman; or

 

(b) if the pregnancy is of more than 16 weeks duration but less than 24 weeks duration unless the treatment is carried out by an authorised medical practitioner who

 

(i) is in possession of such surgical or obstetric qualifications as may be prescribed; or

 

(ii) has acquired special skill in such treatment either in practice or by virtue of holding an appointment in an approved institution over such period as may be prescribed.

 

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), the duration of the pregnancy shall be calculated from the first day of the last normal menstruation of the pregnant woman to the end of the 24th week or to the end of any week between the 16th and the 24th week, as the case may be, or the duration of the pregnancy may be ascertained by clinical examination.

 

Coercion or intimidation.


5. Any person who, by means of coercion or intimidation, compels or induces a pregnant woman against her will to undergo treatment to terminate pregnancy shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $3,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or to both.

 

Conscientious objection to participate in treatment to terminate pregnancy.


6. (1) Subject to subsection (3), no person shall be under any duty whether by contract or by any statutory or legal requirement to participate in any treatment to terminate pregnancy authorised by this Act to which he has a conscientious objection.

 

(2) In any legal proceedings the burden of proof of conscientious objection referred to in subsection (1) shall rest on the person claiming to rely on it and that burden may be discharged by such person testifying on oath or affirmation that he has a conscientious objection to participating in any treatment to terminate pregnancy.

 

(3) Nothing in subsection (1) shall affect any duty to participate in such treatment which is immediately necessary to save the life or to prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of a pregnant woman.

 

Privilege against disclosure of matters relating to treatment for termination of pregnancy.


7. (1) No person who

 

(a) is concerned with the keeping of medical records in connection with treatment to terminate a pregnancy; or

 

(b) participates in any treatment to terminate a pregnancy,

 

shall, unless the pregnant woman expressly gives her consent thereto, disclose any facts or information relating to the treatment except to such persons and for such purposes as may be prescribed.

 

(2) Any person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both.

 

Power to inspect approved institutions and examine records, etc.


8. Any public officer, appointed by the Minister for the purpose, shall have power to enter any approved institution for the purpose of ensuring that the provisions of this Act, and any regulations made thereunder, are being complied with and may examine and make copies of or take extracts from any records or documents connected with any treatment to terminate pregnancy.

 

9. Deleted by Act 26/2001 of 01/09/2001.

 

Relief from certain restrictions where treatment consists solely of drugs.


10. Notwithstanding anything in this Act, where the treatment to terminate pregnancy consists solely of the use of drugs prescribed by an authorised medical practitioner and does not, therefore, include any surgical operation or procedure it shall not be necessary

 

(a) for the authorised medical practitioner to hold the prescribed qualifications or to have acquired skill in the treatment over such period as may be prescribed; and

 

(b) for the treatment to be carried out in an approved institution.

 

Regulations.


11. (1) The Minister may make regulations for, or in respect of, every purpose which is considered by him necessary for carrying out the provisions of this Act and for prescribing any matter which is authorised or required under this Act to be so prescribed.

 

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) the Minister may make regulations

 

(a) requiring authorised medical practitioners to keep records of termination of pregnancy and to forward the records to the Director of Medical Services together with such information relating to the termination as the Director may require;

 

(b) providing for the preservation and disposal of records in respect of the treatment to terminate pregnancy and for the use of the records for statistical or research purposes so long as such use does not disclose the identities of the persons who have received the treatment under this Act;

 

(c) providing for the general or limited authorisation of medical practitioners to carry out treatment to terminate pregnancy;

 

(d) prescribing the qualifications and experience of medical practitioners for the purpose of being authorised to carry out treatment to terminate pregnancy; and

 

(e) prescribing the form of consent to be given by a pregnant woman undergoing treatment for termination of pregnancy.

 

 

Termination of Pregnancy Regulations of 1 October 1987.  (Revised Edition of Subsidiary Legislation Singapore, 1990, Chapter 324, Regulation 1, 13 p.)

 

 

1.  These Regulations may be cited as the Termination of Pregnancy Regulations.

 

2.--(1) An application to the Minister for the approval of any institution, hospital, maternity home, clinic or other place as an approved institution shall be in the Form I set out in the Schedule.

 

(2) The Minister may reject an application made under paragraph (1) without giving any reason.

 

(3) The Minister may cancel the status of an approved institution granted under paragraph (1) without giving any reason.

 

(4) Any approval for the use of any place as an approved institution shall, unless cancelled under paragraph (3), be for two years.

 

3.--(1) A medical practitioner who --

 

(a)        after being registered under the Medical Registration Act; and

 

(b)        has had 24 months experience or such period as the Minister may determine, in an obstetric and gynaecological unit of a hospital recognised by the Minister,

 

may apply to the Minister for an authorisation to carry out treatment to terminate any pregnancy which is of not more than 16 weeks duration.

 

(2) A medical practitioner who --

 

(a)        holds the degree of Master of Medicine (Obstetrics and Gynaecology) of the University of Singapore or the National University of Singapore; or

 

(b)        is a Member or Fellow of a Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists,

 

may apply to the Minister for an authorisation to carry out treatment to terminate any pregnancy which is of not more than 24 weeks duration.

 

(3) The authorisation of the Minister to carry out treatment to terminate any pregnancy may be subject to such conditions as he thinks fit.

 

(4) The Minister may revoke the authorisation given to a medical practitioner under this regulation without giving any reason.

 

(5) An application for authorisation to carry out treatment to terminate pregnancy to the Minister made under this regulation shall be in the Form II set out in the Schedule.

 

4.  Every approved institution shall have among its personnel at least one doctor or nurse who has undergone a course of training in termination of pregnancy counselling conducted by the Director of Medical Services.

 

5.--(1) Every authorised medical practitioner shall provide a trained counsellor and facilities for counselling to such pregnant women who come to him for treatment to terminate their pregnancies as may be specified by conditions to the authorisation granted by the Minister under regulation 3.

 

(2) Every authorised medical practitioner shall also provide a trained counsellor and facilities for counselling to a woman who has had her pregnancy terminated.

 

(3) The counselling shall take such form, be conducted in such manner and in accordance with such criteria as shall be laid down in the conditions to an authorisation granted by the Minister under regulation 3 and shall be given to such pregnant women as may be directed by the Director of Medical Services.

 

(4) The proceedings of each session of counselling shall be recorded on such form as the Director of Medical Services may prescribe.

 

6.--(1) If a pregnant woman, after she has been counselled, wishes to proceed with the treatment for the termination of pregnancy, at least 24 hours shall elapse before she is required to give written consent to the treatment and for the treatment to be given.

 

(2) Written consent for treatment to terminate pregnancy under section 3(1) of the Act shall be in the Form III set out in the Schedule.

 

(3) A declaration of her marital status, educational level and number of living children in the Form IV set out in the Schedule shall also be signed by the woman who requires treatment for termination of pregnancy.

 

7.  Regulation 5(1) shall not apply to any treatment to terminate pregnancy which is immediately necessary to save the life or prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of a pregnant woman.

 

8.  Every authorised medical practitioner shall submit to the Director of Medical Services annually a return on the personnel and facilities available for counselling in the Form V set out in the Schedule.

 

9.  A report in the Form VI set out in the Schedule shall be made to the Director of Medical Services by the authorised medical practitioner --

 

(a)        within 30 days of the pre-termination of pregnancy counselling if no treatment to terminate pregnancy is carried out on a pregnant woman; or

 

(b)        within 30 days of the post termination of pregnancy counselling if treatment to terminate pregnancy is carried out on a pregnant woman.

 

10.  Every approved institution shall maintain a register of all treatments to terminate pregnancy carried out in the institution and such register shall contain the following particulars:

 

(a)        name of operating theatre;

 

(b)        name of authorised medical practitioner who carried out the treatment;

 

(c)        name of patient as indicated in her identity card or passport;

 

(d)        identity card or passport number of patient;

 

(e)        date of operation; and

 

(f)         method of termination of pregnancy.

 

11.  Without prejudice to regulation 2(3), the Minister may cancel the approval for the use of any place as an approved institution and the authorisation to carry out treatment to terminate pregnancy if any authorised medical practitioner contravenes or fails to comply with any of the provisions of regulations 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 and any conditions specified by the Minister under regulation 3(3).

 

12.--(1) Facts and information relating to treatment to terminate a pregnancy may be disclosed by a person mentioned in section 7(1)(a) and (b) of the Act to the following persons and only for the purpose of:

 

(a)        carrying out his duties--to an officer of the Ministry of Health authorised by the Director of Medical Services;

 

(b)        carrying out his duties in relation to offences under the Act or any law relating to abortion--to the Attorney-General or a member of his staff authorised by him;

 

(c)        investigating whether an offence has been committed under the Act or any law relating to abortion--to a police officer not below the rank of superintendent or a person authorised by him and any public officer appointed by the Minister under section 8 of the Act;

 

(d)        criminal proceedings which have begun; or

 

(e)        bona fide research.

 

(2) Except as provided in paragraph (1), no facts or information relating to treatment to terminate a pregnancy shall be given to any person for any purpose unless the patient has expressly consented to the disclosure.


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Click here for Guidelines on Termination of Pregnancy, 1 April 2004.