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FAR EASTERN UNIVERSITY

GENDER ISSUES

Isn't it time to legalize abortion in the
PH?
It's unfortunate that the abortions that happen in the Philippines
are unsafe, a far cry from the rest of the world
Fritzie Rodriguez
@fritzdrodriguez

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Published 4:12 PM, May 09, 2015
Updated 5:58 PM, May 09, 2015
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000 Filipino women die each year from unsafe abortion complications. yet many of them do not understand where their punches really land. On women.THIS STORY MAKES PEOPLE HAPPY UNSAFE ABORTION. the Guttmacher Institute reported in 2013 MANILA. open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd. Filipinos are quick to throw moral punches upon hearing the word. Philippines – Abortion. Around 1.com .

. has allowed unsafe ones to continue. ironically. In open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd. and even death. Many Filipinos resort to abortions under “unsanitary conditions using outdated techniques. stigma.. advocates say. Since policymakers are also misinformed." – UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) By banning safe and legal abortions. observed.” the Guttmacher Institute. an international non-governmental organization (NGO).com .Misinformed views on abortion cause fear. “punitive” laws on women remain despite recommendations from the United Nations in 2006: "The Committee recommends that the State party [Philippines] consider reviewing the laws relating to abortion with a view to removing punitive provisions imposed on women who have abortions and provide them with access to quality services for the management of complications arising from unsafe abortions and to reduce women’s maternal mortality rates. the Philippines.

it is generally safe. or both.com . 'Unsafe abortion as a procedure for terminating a pregnancy performed by persons lacking the necessary skills or in an environment not in conformity with minimal medical standards. (READ: A hard look at PH abortion) This contributes to the country's maternal mortality ratio.fact. according to UNICEF. and where it is highly restricted.000 Filipinos die each year from abortion complications. Women’s stories before and after the abortion are also often silenced. the 6th highest in Southeast Asia as of 2013. around 1.” said the World Health Organization and Guttmacher. Guttmacher reported in 2013. it is typically unsafe.' – World Health Organization “Where abortion is permitted on broad legal grounds. leaving the public clueless about why they had abortion in the first place: Unintended pregnancy resulting from insufficient understanding of sexuality and safe sex open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd.

hundreds of thousands of Filipinos are getting abortions: Projections based on the 2000 national abortion rate PH abortions (Source: Guttmacher Instititute) open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd. incest.e.com .Inadequate access to reproductive health (RH) services and information Violence against women (i.. rape. marital rape) Discrimination against modern contraception Percentage of births in the Philippines from 2003-2008 (Source: Guttmacher Institute) Unplanned 37% Mistimed 20% Unwanted 16% Although considered a crime under Philippine law.

or by hilots who are non-experts. modern times The Revised Penal Code of the Philippines penalizes those open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd. or if you drink things that further harm you. will always be immoral and dangerous – obscuring the science behind the procedure. it's a very safe procedure.000 610. "Abortion is a medical procedure." clarified Bing Parcon of the Women's Global Network for Reproductive Rights.com . If done by professional and experienced healthcare providers. the woman's right to her life and body." she added. Old laws.000 Legalizing abortion.2008 2012 560. and the reality of unsafe abortions in the Philippines. for some. "It becomes unsafe when done by yourself when you know nothing.

incest. While modern Spain recognizes abortion as a woman’s right. The Code is based on the Spanish Penal Code of 1870.com .” a 2010 report by the Center for Reproductive Rights said.” In fact. and departs "from pre-colonial Philippine customary law under which abortion was not considered a crime and was widely practiced by indigenous communities. and healthcare providers. physical or mental health factors. with restrictions varying across countries. abortion is also allowed for socioeconomic reasons. her parents. (READ: When abortion is humane) open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd.committing or assisting abortion: the woman. In other countries. threats to the mother's life or health. and other circumstances as requested by women. the UN again advised the Philippines to amend its laws – to legalize abortion in cases of rape. It also recommended decriminalizing "all other cases" where women undergo abortion. and serious malformation of the fetus. Abortion is carried out within certain stages of the pregnancy. the Philippines has maintained its “colonial Spanish prohibitions. in April 2015.

" "The initial draft of the Criminal Code Committee.com . they provided justified grounds for abortion." Guttmacher reported. "While a liberal interpretation of the [Philippine] law could exempt abortion provision from criminal liability when done to save the woman’s life." "After consultations with certain groups. and organic Criminal Code of the Philippines. however. modern. abortion under Philippine law has "no express exceptions. danger to life and health of the woman. the Department of Justice (DOJ) created the Criminal Code Committee (CCC) to review the country's existing laws and to "draft a simple. and serious fetal malformation. there are no such explicit provisions. eventually." Padilla told Rappler.Meanwhile. "They wrote exceptions on account of rape. an NGO championing women's rights and rights to sexual orientation and gender identity. the draft they presented in October 2014 already dropped the provisions on open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd." said lawyer Claire Padilla of EnGendeRights. In 2011.

In the draft.justified abortion. asking them to revert to the previous draft containing provisions on justified abortions to provide an opportunity to discuss the widespread violations of women’s rights due to the total criminal ban on abortion. The group received a letter from the DOJ this April 2015 which said that “the way forward is to consider separate legislation” on justified abortion and that “the CCC is ready to work with your organization on the necessary language.com .” "It's both a public issue and a health issue that needs to be addressed medically and legally." she continued. 'Next steps' open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd. women undergoing abortion may still be imprisoned for 6 to 12 years." Padilla stressed. Padilla's group and other concerned individuals wrote a letter to the DOJ.

"Because you have a high unintended pregnancy.com ." open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd. Padilla said the "next step" would be for the Philippine government to provide access to safe and legal abortion.Given the latest Guttmacher statistics and the 2015 UN recommendations. there's still inadequate access to contraceptives." Padilla explained. eventually you will definitely have a high incidence of unsafe abortion. "Because if you look at the whole RH and sexual health situation.

com . Stigma So what is stopping the Philippines from relaxing its laws on abortion? Stigma. Stigma is one of our biggest problems in abortion. open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd. some are still discriminated against by healthcare providers. we have high incidence of maternal mortality and morbidity related to unsafe abortion. the cycle repeats itself. "Even coming from the person herself who underwent abortion." Despite the Department of Health's policy ensuring treatment for women with post-abortion complications. NGOs have observed. our law does not provide for any exception. "Abortion stigma is everywhere. Because of that."And because as of now." said Parcon." Without the full access to RH information and services. women would end up accessing unsafe and clandestine abortion.

you're terminating human life. this is why abortion happens: "The girl doesn't mind getting pregnant because she doesn't want to lose the guy. She'll abort just because she wants to keep the guy." The priest argued that this and natural family planning should be the focus of sex education. then that's not sexuality education. That's young people.com ." To prevent this from happening. CBCP Assistant Executive Secretary of the Commission on Family and Life. open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd. kill a baby." said Father Dave Clay.Parcon argued that stigma comes from "moralizing abortion. "You can't do that [abortion]. "If we limit sexuality education to gestation and if it's focused on anti-abortion. Clay said that schools should teach "how wrong abortion is" by showing pictures of the "baby in the womb in different stages." argued Parcon. And the guy wants to have sex because it's enjoyable. For Clay. because the guy wants her to abort the baby. advocates say. not artificial contraception. is the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)." And one of the culprits.

"It's 2015 and they still think it's okay to abort babies. But abortion happens. a far cry from the rest of the world where they're safe.adding that the focus should be on equipping students with their rights and rights-based information. – Rappler. however. Speak up on #GenderIssues!  open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd.com Got stories to tell? Share your ideas and stories on women and development with move. The Philippines has a lot of problems on its plate. is reversed by women's rights advocates: It's 2015 and you still think abortion is wrong. It's just unfortunate that the ones happening in the Philippines are unsafe. and drama-free. normal.com.com . This sentiment.ph@rappler. with issues like abortion getting little to no attention." Clay said.

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