icon-arrow-downCreated with Sketch.icon-arrow-leftCreated with Sketch.icon-arrow-rightCreated with Sketch.icon-arrow-upCreated with Sketch.icon-caret-downCreated with Sketch.icon-closeCreated with Sketch.icon-facebookCreated with Sketch.icon-filterCreated with Sketch.icon-footnotesCreated with Sketch.icon-hamburger-menuCreated with Sketch.icon-imageCreated with Sketch.icon-pdfCreated with Sketch.icon-play-bigCreated with Sketch.icon-play-smallCreated with Sketch.icon-plusCreated with Sketch.icon-section-endingCreated with Sketch.icon-section-separatorCreated with Sketch.icon-shareCreated with Sketch.icon-themesCreated with Sketch.icon-timeline-collapseCreated with Sketch.icon-timeline-expandCreated with Sketch.icon-timelineCreated with Sketch.icon-twitterCreated with Sketch.icon-videoCreated with Sketch.logo-masthead-fullCreated with Sketch.logo-masthead-mobileCreated with Sketch.logo-womens-action-smallCreated with Sketch.logo-womens-actionCreated with Sketch.title-womens-actionCreated with Sketch.Women’sCreated with Sketch.

A PAP election rally in 1959

Reproductive Rights

The fight for reproductive rights has been at the core of the women’s movement in Singapore since its inception. Feminists have critiqued state and social control over women’s reproductive capacities. Some state actions, like the endorsement of family planning and the legalisation of abortion, have converged with the feminist goal of empowering women to make their own choices, but have been used to very different ends.


Family planning, choice and health

In the mid-1930s, debates on dispensing family planning advice to the general public were sparked by a press letter discussing birth control, and by a visit by American family planning advocate Margaret Sanger. 1 The colonial government, however, believed the populace was not ready, and there was opposition from within the Legislative Council and Municipal Commission. 2

In 1949, following lectures on birth control organised by the YWCA International Club, some 60 women voted to establish local family planning services. 3 After intense debate in the Municipal Council Chamber, a motion was passed to provide family planning advice once a week in three municipal infant welfare clinics. 4

A group of doctors, nurses, social workers and others found this insufficient, and set up the Family Planning Association of Singapore (FPA) later that year, aiming to set up more dedicated family planning clinics. 5 They ploughed on despite opposition from religious groups as well as a lack of expertise and resources – the Dutch pessary, the only contraceptive available to women, had to be purchased from England. 6 By 1965, the FPA was running 34 clinics in Singapore, the vast majority located in government health institutions. 7

Nevertheless, women still faced resistance from their husbands, and often sought family planning advice in secret. Ms Constance Goh, the first president of FPA, encouraged women to make their husbands think birth control was their idea – a tactic which could afford women more control over their bodies, but reinforced the view that men were entitled to make decisions about women’s bodies. 8


The shift to population control

Inaugural meeting of the Family Planning and Population Board in January 1966. Mr Yong Nyuk Lin, the then-Minister for Health, is addressing the room.
Source: Ministry of Information and the Arts.

In 1966, at the FPA’s behest, the government took over family planning services, establishing the Family Planning and Population Board (FPPB). 9 The government was convinced that reducing fertility was necessary for Singapore’s economic survival.

Women’s empowerment through family planning has often been limited by patriarchal norms, but the absorption of these services into the state apparatus brought a competing threat to women’s autonomy: national interests. 10 While the 1965 White Paper on Family Planning stated that its aim was to “liberate our women from the burden of bearing and raising an unnecessarily large number of children”, it added that this was to “increase human happiness for all” through ‘safeguarding’ Singapore’s economic survival. 11

Nevertheless, till 1969, the government did not try to force people to use birth control. Instead, it used strategies like media campaigns, forums and debates to highlight Singapore’s perceived population problem and the necessity for family planning. 12

A mother watches as a midwife carries out a growth assessment on her child in 1950.
Source: Ministry of Information and the Arts.

Mdm Chow Sook Chin remembers the time. 13 She worked as a nurse midwife in the late 1960s, attending to home births as well as in Kandang Kerbau Hospital. She said in an interview for this feature that she preferred home births as they were “more personal”, and she could handle each case from antenatal care all the way to postnatal care.

At this time, a system of government District Midwives was in place. Women were trained in midwifery but not nursing, and worked in centres across the island. Traditional birthing assistants, such as bidans and jiesheng fu 14 also attended to births, although the government actively encouraged women to seek the services of medically trained midwives instead. 15

Government midwives dispensed family planning advice and contraceptives during home visits, 16 and nurses talked to women about the possibility of family planning during their antenatal and postnatal check-ups. According to Mdm Chow, maternal health was quite poor at the time, since women did not have much money with which to take care of themselves, or to buy herbs or vitamins.

Mdm Chow noted that women tended to be more accepting of family planning than their husbands or in-laws were. 17 Unfortunately, though family planning was an issue that intimately affected their bodies, women had less say as to whether to take it up.


Of abortion, sterilisation and stopping at two

Campaign billboard from the Stop at Two era.
Source: Ronnie Pinsler, courtesy of National Archives of Singapore

With population growth still high as the 1970s began, the state embarked on a more aggressive campaign to limit couples to two children each. There was immense pressure to conform to a new ideal of the nuclear family, including new measures to encourage parents – in practice, mothers – to get sterilised after their second child. However, these policies disproportionately targeted lower-income and less educated people, as well as disabled people.

Increased government intervention in reproduction began with a modification of delivery fees in 1969, from a flat rate for all births to progressively higher fees for subsequent births. 18 Then came the Abortion Act and the Voluntary Sterilisation Act, both enacted in 1970. 19

Abortion was initially criminalised under the British laws Singapore had inherited, except where “abortion was caused in good faith to safeguard the life of the woman concerned”. 20 When reviewing the law, the state was concerned about cases of contraceptive failure, as well as population control. Policymakers also wanted to tackle dangerous “backstreet” abortions. Announcing the government’s intent to legalise abortion in August 1967, then Health Minister Mr Yong Nyuk Lin stated:

With the proposed legalising of abortion, every child born in Singapore would henceforth be a wanted child and our women folk will thus be liberated from the clutches of nefarious people who are unscrupulous enough to exploit and profit in the anomalous situation which regards abortion as being illegal abortion. 21

However, the Abortion Act, as first enacted in 1970, gave women only limited access to abortions. Those seeking abortions needed approval from the Termination of Pregnancy Authorisation Board and, if she was below 18, from her parents or guardian. The Board could grant approval only where there was a serious threat to the life, or mental or physical health of the pregnant woman; where the child might be disabled; where the pregnancy was the result of rape, incest or other unlawful intercourse; and where the socio-economic situation of the woman “justified” terminating the pregnancy. 22

Most approved abortions fell in the last category. In the first ten months after the Act came into force, these cases formed 95 per cent of the abortions approved by the Board. 23 Many women continued to have “backstreet” abortions. 24 It was only in 1974 that abortion was made available on demand. 25

One woman recalled being chided by doctors and nurses, and offered an abortion, when she went for an antenatal check-up while pregnant with her third child.

Although liberalisation of abortion for lower-income women did advance women’s reproductive freedom, the Abortion Act also marked the beginnings of eugenicist policies.

Speaking on the Abortion Bill in 1969, Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew worried that the legalisation of abortion and voluntary sterilisation would lower the quality of the population. He noted that better-educated parents were more likely to limit the number of children they had, and argued that the laws needed to be applied “intelligently” in order to correct this “distortion” in procreation patterns. 26

Legal abortion was sometimes used in a way that disrespected women’s choices – one woman recalled being chided by doctors and nurses, and offered an abortion, when she went for an antenatal check-up in 1976 while pregnant with her third child. 27

Coming into force at the same time as the Abortion Act, the Voluntary Sterilisation Act led to the establishment of an Eugenics Board to assess applications for voluntary sterilisation. 28 Although this would later cause grief, the law was passed without much comment.

What is sexual sterilisation?

The two forms of sterilisation authorised under the Voluntary Sterilisation Act were tubal ligation and vasectomy. Tubal ligation involves either cutting or clipping the fallopian tubes, which carry eggs from a woman’s ovaries to her uterus. It does not stop menstruation. Vasectomy involves cutting or clipping the vas deferens, which carries sperm from a man’s testes to his urethra. Hysterectomy (surgical removal of the womb, which stops menstruation) and other methods were not included. Tubal ligation and vasectomy are difficult to reverse.


Related themes Civil Society Family

The state soon introduced measures to increase the take-up rate for its sterilisation programme, deeming sterilisation “the best method of family planning”. 29 Priority in Primary One registration – a major concern for many parents – was given to sterilised parents, 30 and delivery fees were waived for Class B and C patients if either parent sterilised themselves following the birth of a child. For Class C patients, ward fees were also waived in such cases. 31 While sterilisation was offered to all, it was often women who got sterilised, though it was then a much more invasive procedure for women than for men. 32

Some women felt pressured to get sterilised despite their religious objections. 33 Husbands sometimes pressured their wives into such procedures due to difficulties with paying hospitalisation and delivery fees. Women were not just subject to state pressures but also class-based financial pressure, and the model of the male breadwinner that gave power to men. 34 Their predicament was made worse by the state’s drive to hospitalise childbirth.

Other measures were also introduced to encourage small families. 35 In 1973, the state amended the Employment Act so that women were no longer eligible for paid maternity leave if they already had two or more surviving children, 36 and lower or no income tax relief was granted from the fourth child onwards. A new rule was introduced whereby those staying in public housing could only sub-let rooms if they had no more than three children.

Use of public housing for social engineering purposes

During the colonial era and immediate post-independence period, priority in public housing was given to those deemed to need it most, including families with many children. However, since the 1970s, the state has formulated public housing policies to serve demographic and ideological ends. These include sanctioning those who did not conform to the nuclear family ideal, such as LGBT families or unwed single mothers and their children. On a positive note, it seems the state is beginning to concern itself more with the original social welfare mission of public housing again. 89

Related themes Family

“If I have a third child, and just because the third child is a third child, and then he’s not given the same priority as the others.”

The denial of priority in Primary One registration to fourth and subsequent children hit the hardest. The specifics changed a number of times during the decade, but generally, priority was only given up to the third child. Fourth and subsequent children would receive priority only if at least one of their parents was sterilised.

Many limited their family size because they did not want their younger children to be disadvantaged. Mdm Chow was one such parent.

“I didn’t want to take the chance, because in those days, a third child, they don’t guarantee you … I was asking myself, if I have a third child, and just because the third child is a third child, and then he’s not given the same priority as the others. It’s very unfair to him,” she said. 37

Abortion and sterilisation legislation were also discriminatory against people with disabilities, including disabled women. The risk of severe impairment was one of the grounds for terminating pregnancy in the 1969 Abortion Act, 38 and both the 1969 and 1974 the Voluntary Sterilisation Acts treated people with disabilities in a eugenicist way that disrespected their right to parenthood. 39

Under these Voluntary Sterilisation Acts, for those “afflicted with any hereditary form of illness that is recurrent, mental illness, mental deficiency [sic] or epilepsy” (mental illness was inserted as a separate category in the 1974 Act), a parent, guardian or spouse could decide whether they should be sterilised, and this would be approved as long as the doctor certified that the treatment was “necessary in the interest of the person… and of society generally.” Consent of the person to be sterilised was not required.

Eugenicist sentiments were apparent in the parliamentary debates on the two acts. Speaking on the Abortion Bill, Minister of Health Chua Sian Chin stated:

I would just like to invite these groups [those who oppose abortion] to visit the Mental Defective Section of the Woodbridge Hospital to see for themselves the mental defectives or "mongols" whom we have to care for. Perhaps then they may begin to think in more rational terms and start to question the very purpose of the Divine creating such mental defectives, the nature of whose existence in this world is just to vegetate. 40
The hospitalisation of childbirth meant that the government now had easier access to women’s bodies to implement their social engineering programmes.

The 1970s was a period of transition when it came to childbirth. Once the Nurses and Midwives Act of 1975 was passed, traditional birthing assistants could no longer practise legally. 41 Instead, the government advised all women to deliver in hospital, citing the risks involved in childbirth. By the end of the decade, hospital births were practically the only option open to women. 42

The hospitalisation of childbirth did not necessarily improve women’s access to reproductive healthcare. Lower-income families found it difficult to afford the more expensive hospital fees, and therefore delayed going to the hospital until the last minute in order to minimise costs. Some ended up delivering their babies on their way to hospital. 43

Many who did deliver in hospital faced medical procedures which were not always necessary, such as routine episiotomies. Labour was sometimes induced in order to fit hospital schedules, and caesarean sections performed when the baby was still not delivered after a set length of time. The process was a top-down one, with many women unable to understand what was going on. 44


“Talent for the future”: overt eugenics

A summary of the 1983 National Day Rally speech. Click here to view full article.
Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings. Reproduced with permission
A summary of the 1983 National Day Rally speech.
Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings. Reproduced with permission

In 1975, Singapore’s total fertility rate dipped under the replacement fertility level of 2.1 children per woman for the first time. 45 Stop at Two had been effective, but the drop in fertility rate was also due to other factors, such as women’s higher educational levels, their increasing participation in the workforce, family nuclearisation and better living conditions. 46

After the 1980 census, the state became concerned that better-educated women were reproducing at lower rates than less-educated women, and that graduate women in particular were remaining single. In his 1983 National Day Rally speech, Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew worried that the following generation might be “depleted of the talented”. 47 Mr Lee believed that better-educated parents would produce more intelligent, talented offspring, and that it was important to ensure that graduate women had more children.

These comments drew accusations of elitism. 48 Still, the ruling party introduced a slew of eugenicist policies the following year, encouraging graduate women to marry and have more children. 49 It established the Social Development Unit (SDU) in 1984 to encourage matches between graduate women and men in the public service. Under the new Graduate Mothers’ Priority Scheme, children of graduate mothers with at least three children would receive top priority in Primary One registration in a school of their choice. 50 For women with five O Level passes, they would enjoy enhanced child relief that increased from the first to the third child.

Graduate Mothers’ Priority Scheme

Under this scheme, the offspring of university-educated women with three or more children would get priority in primary school registration. In the same year, the government announced that $10,000 would be given to low-income, less-educated women below the age of 30 who sterilised themselves after the first or second child.

Related themes Civil Society Family

On the flip side, the government introduced the Small Family Incentive Scheme to encourage less-educated, low-income parents to limit their family sizes. 51 Where both parents did not have any O Level passes, women could apply to have $10,000 deposited in their CPF if they were under 30, had not more than two children, and agreed to undergo sterilisation. 52 Delivery fees were also revised such that women in Class C wards saw the steepest increase in fees after the second child. 53

These policies angered many citizens; one woman who wrote to the press signed off as “Second-class Citizen”. 54 Even graduates felt it was unfair, as evidenced in the landmark forum in 1984, “Women’s Choices, Women’s Lives”, leading to the formation of the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE), whose first position paper was on the issue of population policies. 55

The founding of AWARE

Frustration with the Graduate Mothers’ Priority Scheme – along with a number of sexist comments made during the Great Marriage Debate – was a major contributing factor to the formation of the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE), which today is Singapore’s largest gender equality organisation.

Related themes Civil Society

Besides concerns of class-based discrimination, there was also some worry that the government was trying to limit the fertility of Indian and Malay women so as to maintain the ethnic ratio – women from these ethnic groups tended to have less education and more children, and were therefore disproportionately affected by the policies. This belief was bolstered in 1985 when Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew declared belief that Singapore owed its success to the “practicality” of its Chinese ethnic majority. 56

Indignation over the government’s eugenicist policies was apparent in the election rally speeches in the 1984 General Election, and contributed to the PAP’s significant losses. 57 Even Dr Toh Chin Chye, a founding member of the PAP, condemned the Graduate Mothers’ Priority Scheme, arguing it was unconstitutional and discriminatory. 58 This negativity, and the scheme’s ineffectiveness, prompted the government to scrap the policy less than a year later. 59


Have three or more (if you can afford it)

In 1987, the state announced a new population policy – Have Three or More (If You Can Afford It). By focusing on “affordability” rather than education, it moved away from overtly eugenicist rhetoric, but specific policies and guidelines continued to discriminate against less-educated people. Reproductive policies were still formulated with social engineering in mind.

Sanctions on larger families were lifted, and measures introduced to encourage them. Discrimination against the third child in Primary One registration was removed, 60 and public housing policies were modified so that families with three children and a three-room or larger flat were given priority when upgrading to a larger apartment. These families could also sell their old flats on the open market even if they had not inhabited it for at least five years, allowing them to reap a huge profit. 61 In 2001, the Baby Bonus Scheme began providing cash pay-outs to married parents, based on the birth order of the child. 62

In 1987, the government implemented mandatory pre- and post-abortion counselling to discourage abortion. However, the pre-abortion counselling requirement only applied to women with some secondary education, and aimed to discourage these women from aborting rather than providing them with unbiased information. 63

Following its announcement in 1993, the Small Family Incentive Scheme from the eugenics era was modified and reintroduced as the Small Family Improvement Scheme in 1994. The sterilisation requirement was removed; instead, parents had to agree not to have more than two children. 64 In 2004, benefits were enhanced and the scheme was renamed the Home Ownership Plus Education (HOPE) Scheme, and continues to advocate that less-educated, low-income parents keep their families small. 65

The state also had other forms of social engineering in mind. Wanting to uphold the image of the ‘traditional’ nuclear family as the social norm, it insisted on childbearing only within the context of heteronormative marriage. 66 This impinged on the reproductive rights of anyone who did not fit this norm. Up till today, unwed single mothers are not entitled to the Baby Bonus scheme or government -paid maternity leave or benefits. 67


Recent developments

Recent developments hint at a shift away from overt eugenicist policies and towards greater respect for autonomy and human rights.

In March 2013, the Ministry of Health commenced a review of Singapore’s pre-abortion counselling guidelines. 68 Recognising that the criteria were “no longer relevant with the shift in Singapore’s demographic and social landscape,” 69 it embarked on a public consultation exercise in 2014, which culminated with the MOH making pre-abortion counselling mandatory for all women in April 2015, regardless of their nationality, educational level or number of children. Moreover, the counselling was presented as intended to support women in making informed choices, rather than discouraging abortion. 70

Another emergent trend is heated and robust debate on matters of sexual and reproductive autonomy not between citizens and state, but between various factions in society, signalling a new era of public engagement.

In 2012 Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong similarly declared his ministry’s intention to amend the Voluntary Sterilisation Act, as there had been “many changes in Singapore since [1974], both in the healthcare landscape as well as in society generally”. 71 Once again this was carried out with public consultation, incorporating input from groups such as AWARE. It resulted in better protections for disabled people and allowed more autonomy in deciding on sterilisation. It also introduced more safeguards for minors seeking sterilisation. 72 Significantly, Singapore reviewed the act in part because it sought to be a party to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 73

Despite these shifts, the state’s pro-natalist policies continue to include strong class-based components. Many of its incentives for parenthood – such as co-savings schemes or income tax relief 74 – inherently favour parents with higher incomes.

The Baby Bonus Child Development Account

There are two components to the Baby Bonus Scheme. The first is the cash gift mentioned earlier. The second is the Child Development Account, a co-savings account where the government will match all money deposited in the account dollar-for-dollar, up to a ceiling determined by the child’s birth order. Following the announcement of the 2016 Budget, parents will also have an initial $3,000 deposited into their newborns' accounts. The money can then be used for various child-related expenses. 80

Related themes Family

Another emergent trend is heated and robust debate on matters of sexual and reproductive autonomy not between citizens and state, but between various factions in society, signalling a new era of public engagement. The changes to mandatory pre-abortion counselling in 2015, for instance, were preceded and surrounded by lengthy debates in the press on the appropriate role of regulation in governing abortion access.

Sexuality education has also sparked controversy. In 2006, AWARE—alarmed by the steep climb in sexually transmitted infections amongst teenage girls and data that over a hundred girls below age 20 had undergone abortions in 2006 alone 75 —developed a comprehensive sexuality (CSE) programme for teenagers. The course aimed to empower youth to make informed choices. 76

However, in 2009, the programme came under attack by Christian activists for its neutral approach to homosexuality. 77 Subsequently, the Ministry of Education centralised the vetting of external sex education providers 78 in local schools, and required the “heterosexual married family” to be presented as “the basic unit of society”. 79


Returning choice and empowerment to pregnant mothers

People have also started to challenge medical authority over childbirth, 80 as evidenced in the small but growing interest in natural childbirth. This school of thought sees childbirth as a natural process rather than a medical issue, and holds that control over the birthing process should be returned to pregnant women. Natural births involve significantly less medical intervention, including lower rates of episiotomies and caesarean sections. With the help of pain management techniques, the need for pain medication, including epidural anaesthesia, is also reduced. 81

Personal experience prompting interest in the practice of a doula

Ginny Phang's own experience of giving birth to her son has informed her work as a doula. She was 23 years old and unmarried when she fell pregnant, and knew little about preparing for childbirth. There was little support when she went into labour, and she lacked the skills to understand and deal with what was going on. She was given an episiotomy – a surgical incision made between the vaginal opening and the anus – without fully understanding what the nurse was doing and why the procedure was necessary.

“Here I am feeling so disempowered when I was giving birth myself and I wanted people not to have the same experience that I did as a new mother, as a young mother,” she said at TEDx Singapore.

Meanwhile, the medical profession has started giving women more reproductive health choices.

People who choose natural birth often opt to deliver in more familiar settings. Although it is still rare, growing numbers of parents are delivering at home. 82 Advocates point out that most planned home births following uncomplicated pregnancies in healthy mothers are completed safely, especially for women who have had safe deliveries previously. 83 Many doctors, however, warn against the risks of childbirth and advise against home birth. 84

Meanwhile, the medical profession has started giving women more reproductive health choices. For instance, they may assist women in creating birth plans, and offer the choice of a water birth. 85 The National University Hospital also provides one-on-one nurse midwife support services, similar to doula services, though delivery itself still has to happen in the hospital. 86 Not all hospitals offer these options: some contend that there is insufficient evidence in support of natural birth techniques, such as water birth. 87 Regardless, such services are available only to the higher socio-economic classes as they cost much more.

As the state grapples with evolving demographics and family structures, and faultlines over societal values emerge in a society whose pluralism and diversity grows daily more apparent, voices for women’s and girl’s autonomy will no doubt become ever more vital to ensure the protection of reproductive rights.

  1. Saw Swee-Hock. Population Policies and Programmes in Singapore. Singapore: ISEAS Publications, 2005.
  2. Bungar, Joan-Baptista. “Sexuality, Fertility and the Individual in Singapore Society.” Unpublishd Masters Thesis, National University of Singapore, 1991.
  3. “60 Women Vote For Family Planning.” The Straits Times, 17 May 1949. Accessed [20 December 2014]. http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/straitstimes19490517-1.2.121.aspx
  4. “12-10 Vote for Birth Control.” The Singapore Free Press, 28 May 1949. Accessed [20 December 2014]. http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/freepress19490528-1.2.62.aspx
  5. See note 1.
  6. Frost, Mark Ravinder and Yu-Mei Balasingamchow. Singapore, A Biography. Singapore: Editions Didier Millet and National Musuem of Singapore, 2009.
  7. See notes 1 and 2.
  8. See note 6.
  9. See notes 1 and 2.
  10. See note 2.
  11. See note 1.
  12. See note 1.
  13. Chow, Sook Chin. Interview by Emily Charissa Lim, 15 January 2015 and 11 February 2015.
  14. “The Midwife Profession in Singapore.” National Archives of Singapore Archives Online. Accessed [10 January 2015]. http://www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline/article/midwife-profession-in-singapore
  15. See note 2.
  16. “Campaign Nation (Part 1).” Channel NewsAsia, 2015. Accessed [22 June 2015]. http://www.channelnewsasia.com/tv/tvshows/campaign-nation/campaign-nation-part-1/1598494.html
  17. See note 16.
  18. Fawcett, James T. “Singapore’s Population Policies in Perspective.” In Public Policy and Population Change in Singapore, 1st ed., edited by Peter S. J. Chen and James. T. Fawcett. New York: Population Council, 1979.
  19. Wee, Kenneth K. S. “Legal Aspects of Population Policies,” In Public Policy and Population Change in Singapore, 1st ed., edited by Peter S. J. Chen and James T. Fawcett. New York: Population Council, 1979.
  20. See note 1.
  21. See note 1.
  22. See note 1.
  23. See note 1.
  24. “Beyond Babies: National Duty or Personal Choice?” Association of Women for Action and Research, July 2004.
  25. Yap, Mui Teng. “Singapore: Population Policies and Programmes.” In The Global Family Planning Revolution Robinson: Three Decades of Population Policies and Programmes, 1st ed., edited by Warren C. Robinson and John A. Ross. Washington DC: The World Bank, 2007.
  26. “Abortion Bill (As reported from Select Committee).” Singapore Parliament Reports (Hansard), volume 29, sitting 6, column 323, 29 December 1969. Accessed [14 January 2015]. http://sprs.parl.gov.sg/search/topic.jsp?currentTopicID=00054060-ZZ¤tPubID=00069213-ZZ&topicKey=00069213-ZZ.00054060-ZZ_1%2Bid015_19691229_S0003_T00031-bill%2B
  27. Toh, Mavis. “Two is Not Enough.” The Straits Times, 24 August 2008.
  28. “Eugenics Board to be Set Up to Give Consent.” The Straits Times, 6 December 1968. Accessed [15 February 2015]. http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/straitstimes19681206.2.86.1.aspx
  29. See note 1.
  30. Ngoo, Irene. “Sterilisation: A Big Rush by Mothers.” New Nation, 17 August 1975. Accessed [15 January 2015]. http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/newnation19750817-1.2.10.aspx
  31. See note 1.
  32. See notes 1 and 2.
  33. Interview with Emily Charissa Lim, 13 January 2015.
  34. See note 2.
  35. See notes 1 and 19.
  36. “Employment (Amendment) Bill.” Singapore Parliament Reports (Hansard), volume 32, sitting 21, column 1160, 25 July 1973. Assessed [15 January 2015]. http://sprs.parl.gov.sg/search/topic.jsp?currentTopicID=00055469-ZZ¤tPubID=00069283-ZZ&topicKey=00069283-ZZ.00055469-ZZ_1%2Bid013_19730725_S0002_T00071-bill%2B
  37. See note 13.
  38. See note 1.
  39. See note 2.
  40. “Abortion Bill.” Singapore Parliament Reports (Hansard), volume 28, sitting 11, column 863, 8 April 1969. Assessed [15 January 2015]. http://sprs.parl.gov.sg/search/topic.jsp?currentTopicID=00053836-ZZ¤tPubID=00069205-ZZ&topicKey=00069205-ZZ.00053836-ZZ_1%2Bid039_19690408_S0003_T00031-bill%2B
  41. Makhijani, Pooja. “Women Helping Women.” Poskod.sg, 20 April 2012.
  42. See note 2.
  43. See note 2.
  44. See note 2.
  45. See note 1.
  46. Wong, Theresa and Brenda S.A. Yeoh. "Fertility and the Family: An Overview of Pro-natalist Population Policies in Singapore." Asian MetaCentre Research Paper Series 12. Assessed [20 June 2015]. http://www.populationasia.org/Publications/RP/AMCRP12.pdf.
  47. See note 1.
  48. Voices and Choices: The Women’s Movement in Singapore, 1st ed., edited by Jenny Lim Lam and Phyllis Chew, 82-147. Singapore: Times Press, 1993.
  49. Lyons, Lenore. “The Birth of AWARE.” In Small Steps, Giant Leaps: A History of AWARE and the Women’s Movement in Singapore, 1st ed., edited by Mandakini Arora, 84-117. Singapore: Association of Women for Action and Research, 2007.
  50. Boey, Caroline and Bertilla Pereira. “Encouraging Well-educated to Have Larger Families.” Singapore Monitor, 24 January 1984.
  51. See notes 1, 2 and 49.
  52. Wee, Vivienne. “Children, Population Policy, and the State in Singapore.” In Children and the Politics of Culture, 1st ed., edited by Sharon Stephens, 201. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1995.
  53. See notes 1 and 2.
  54. Voices and Choices: The Women’s Movement in Singapore, 1st ed., edited by Jenny Lim Lam and Phyllis Chew, 82-147. Singapore: Times Press, 1993.
  55. “Population: An Issue of Current Concern.” Association of Women for Action and Research, 1988.
  56. “President’s Address.” Singapore Parliament Reports (Hansard), volume 45, sitting 2, column 70, 1 March 1985. Accessed [15 January 2015]. http://sprs.parl.gov.sg/search/topic.jsp?currentTopicID=00062986-ZZ¤tPubID=00069476-ZZ&topicKey=00069476-ZZ.00062986-ZZ_1%2Bid005_19850301_S0005_T00051-president-address%2B
  57. Ortmann, Stephan. Politics and Change in Singapore and Hong Kong: Containing Contention. Oxon: Routledge, 2009.
  58. “NTI Students Pen Protest against Priority Plan.” The Straits Times, 19 February 1984. Accessed [15 January 2015]. http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/straitstimes19840219-1.2.15.aspx
  59. Lee, Ee Boon. “Graduate Mums Plan Should Go: Tony Tan.” Singapore Monitor, 25 March 1985. Accessed [15 January 2015]. http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/singmonitor19850325-2.2.2.aspx
  60. See note 1.
  61. See notes 1 and 49.
  62. See note 1.
  63. Hill, Michael and Lian Kwen Fee. The Politics of Nation Building and Citizenship in Singapore. Oxon: Routledge, 1995.
  64. Kuak, Keian Meng. “Evaluation on Perceptions and Attitudes of the HOPE Scheme Low-income Families at Macpherson Moral Family Service Centre about Family Life, Family Size, Household Income and Expectations.” In Researching Social Issues in Singapore – Contributions from the Professional and Leadership Development Scheme for Social Workers in the Social Service Sector, volume 1, edited by Max Liddell. Clayton: Monash University, 2009.
  65. “Benefits for Single Mothers.” Ministry of Social and Family Development, 19 January 2015. Accessed [14 February 2015]. http://app.msf.gov.sg/Press-Room/Benefits-for-single-mothers.
  66. “Enhanced Baby Bonus.” Hey Baby. Accessed [2 June 2015]. http://www.heybaby.sg/havingchildren/baby_bonus.html
  67. “Pre-abortion Counselling.” Ministry of Health, 8 April 2013. Accessed [2 June 2015]. https://www.moh.gov.sg/content/moh_web/home/pressRoom/Parliamentary_QA/2013/pre-abortion-counselling.html.
  68. “Public Consultation on Pre-Abortion Counselling Criteria.” Ministry of Health. Accessed [26 May 2015]. https://www.moh.gov.sg/content/moh_web/home/econsultation/eConsultation/topics/public-consultation-on-pre-abortion-counselling-criteria-.html
  69. See note 72.
  70. “Voluntary Sterilisation Bill.” Singapore Parliament Reports (Hansard), volume 89, sitting 9, 16 October 2012. Accessed [12 February 2015]. http://sprs.parl.gov.sg/search/topic.jsp?currentTopicID=00078097-WA¤tPubID=00078091-WA&topicKey=00078091-WA.00078097-WA_3%2Bid-a98cd530-ec63-4250-966f-ea4ababf7396%2B
  71. “Sterilisation Bill: They Heard Us.” Association of Women for Action and Research, 26 September 2012. Accessed [15 January 2015]. http://www.aware.org.sg/2012/09/21542
  72. “Public Consultation on Voluntary Sterilisation Act.” Ministry of Health. Accessed [26 May 2015]. https://www.moh.gov.sg/content/moh_web/home/econsultation/eConsultation/topics/public_consultationonvsa.html.
  73. See note 70.
  74. Internal report by the Association of Women for Action and Research, 2010.
  75. Dewan, Roopa and Mathia Lee. “Education Key to Tackling Problems of Underage Sex.” The Straits Times, 21 December 2008.
  76. Chong, Terence. “Introduction.” In The AWARE Saga: Civil Society and Public Morality in Singapore, 1st ed., edited by Terence Chong, 1-13. Singapore: NUS Press, 2011.
  77. Yeo, Shang Long and Liew Hanqing. “Ministry Picks Groups to Teach Sexuality Education.” The Straits Times, 29 April 2010. Accessed [2 March 2015]. http://news.asiaone.com/News/the+Straits+Times/Story/A1Story20100429-213037.htm
  78. Liew, Wei Li. “MOE Sexuality Education Not Just About Abstinence.” Ministry of Education, 6 January 2012. Accessed [2 March 2015]. http://www.moe.gov.sg/media/forum/2012/01/moe-sexuality-education-not-ju.php.
  79. Wee, Lea. “Water Babies.” The Straits Times, 17 February 2011. Accessed [2 January 2015]. http://www.healthxchange.com.sg/News/Pages/Water-babies.aspx
  80. “Births at Home or in Hospital: Risks Explained.” NHS Choices, 25 November 2011. Accessed [25 February 2015]. http://www.nhs.uk/news/2011/11November/Pages/hospital-births-home-births-compared.aspx
  81. Lai, Linette. “More Parents Opting to Give Birth at Home.” The Straits Times, 24 February 2014.
  82. Teoh, Ren Shang. “Giving Birth at Home: Option Worth Exploring in Singapore.” The Straits Times, 10 February 2014.
  83. See note 86.
  84. See note 84.
  85. “Emma Care – Unique Collaborative Maternity Care.” National University Hospital. Accessed [29 May 2015] http://www.nuhgynae.com.sg/cos/o.x?c=/wbn/pagetree&func=view&rid=1122627
  86. See note 84.
  87. “Enhanced Baby Bonus,” Hey Baby, accessed March 28, 2016, http://www.heybaby.sg/havingchildren/baby_bonus.html.
  88. Saw, Population Policies and Programmes, 79-80, 85