Every night for a week, Mazlinda Majlam had the same nightmare. “It’s a silhouette of a baby sitting down, and he will just be looking at me. The baby has no eyes, but he will be looking at me,” she said.
The horrifying dreams began in April, the night she returned home from having an abortion – two months after she was retrenched as a result of Singapore’s worst recession in more than 40 years.
With abortion figures rising amid anecdotal evidence that the economic downturn is a contributing factor, Singapore’s efforts to encourage couples to have more babies, including financial perks, could be derailed.
Latest official data put the 2007 fertility rate – the number of births for each woman in her lifetime – at 1.29 births. The ideal population replacement rate is 2.1 births per woman.
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