The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

Thai Teens’ pregnancy rate appears to be uncontrollable, feeding Bangkok’s bar scene

Written By: herbrunbridge - Mar• 08•13

NoFuckingLogobIn our tours around Bangkok’s night spots, we here at WoWasis has noted that seemingly a majority of the city’s bar girls are young mothers. In an article published by Reuters this week, the situation appears to be accelerating.

The article reports that “even though the overall birthrate is dropping, teen births are on the rise. Out of every 1,000 live births, 54 are from teen mothers aged 15-19 – higher than in the United States and ten times higher than Singapore’s teen pregnancy rate. What’s more, it’s rising fast. The number of live births by Thai teenage mothers aged 15-18 increased 43 percent between 2000 and 2011, a Thai annual public health report shows.”

The article goes on to state: “A 2011 report by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Thailand’s National and Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) shows the number of women hospitalized in connection with abortions increased by over 16 percent between 1994 and 2009, hitting 60,000 in 2009.

“Yet abortion is illegal in Thailand except in cases of rape or incest, to save a woman’s life or preserve her physical or mental health, and if the woman is under 15 years of age. Under Thai law the penalty for performing illegal abortions is up to five years in prison or a fine of up to 10,000 baht ($340). Despite this, illegal clinics and back street abortions abound. In 2010, Thai police found 2,000 fetuses on the grounds of a Bangkok Buddhist temple. They were to have been sent there from illegal abortion clinics.”

What the article does not state is that a large number of girls who elect to keep their babies park them with their mothers or relatives, then enter (or return) to the bar industry. The children are then raised by family members, with the mother paying only an occasional visit. Because of the Thai proclivity for saving face, teen sex is rarely discussed, and sex education in schools is essentially non-existent. The end result isn’t rocket science. It’s more young women entering the bar scene on a yearly basis. Entering the bar life in Bangkok, young women from upcountry become quickly educated on birth control methods, although whether they elect to use them is a matter of choice.

Failure to present teens with adequate birth control information, as well as lack of access to condoms and birth control pills, results in a massive supply chain to Bangkok’s huge and still growing adult bar industry.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.