The biggest barriers to safe abortions in Malaysia is abortion stigma, engendered in part by traditional attitudes toward the procedure, and in part by misinformation.

“It is not so much the law, as it is capacity building, and no so much the capacity building, as it is the attitude towards abortions,” says Dr. S.P.Choong, ASAP Steering Committee Chair, a safe abortion provider in Malaysia, and the co-chair of the Reproductive Rights Advocacy Alliance of Malaysia (RRAAM).

Though the country had fairly liberal abortion laws, state-run hospitals are not always equipped to conduct these procedures. As a result, a black market has mushroomed in the nation, and offers abortions at very high-prices. In addition the government constantly threatens to bring in stricter regulations, and shut down private hospitals offering the procedure at lower costs. (Read our detailed blog on the barriers in Malaysia.)

RRAAM is one of the civil societies working toward making safe abortions available to all women who need them. The following video is an interview with Rashidah Abdullah, also co-chair of RRAAM; and summarizes her views on Islam as regards contraception and abortion. We thank RRAAM for sharing this video.