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Abortion[edit]

Article II of the 1987 Philippine Constitution says, in part, "Section 12. The State
recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as
a basic autonomous social institution". It shall equally protect the life of the mother
and the life of the unborn from conception.

The act is criminalized by Philippine law. Articles 256, 258 and 259 of the Revised
Penal Code of the Philippines mandate imprisonment for women who undergo
abortion, as well as for any person who assists in the procedure. Article 258 further
imposes a higher prison term on the woman or her parents if the abortion is
undertaken "in order to conceal [the woman's] dishonor".

There is no law in the Philippines that expressly authorizes abortions in order to


save the woman's life; and the general provisions which do penalize abortion make
no qualifications if the woman's life is endangered. It may be argued that an
abortion to save the mother's life could be classified as a justifying circumstance
(duress as opposed to self-defense) that would bar criminal prosecution under the
Revised Penal Code. However, this has yet to be adjudicated by the
Philippine Supreme Court.

Proposals to liberalize Philippine abortion laws have been opposed by the Catholic
Church, and its opposition has considerable influence in the predominantly Catholic
country. However, the constitutionality of abortion restrictions has yet to be
challenged before the Philippine Supreme Court.

The constitutional provision that "[The State] shall equally protect the life of the
mother and the life of the unborn from conception." was crafted by the
Constitutional Commission which drafted the charter with the intention of providing
for constitutional protection of the abortion ban, although the enactment of a more
definitive provision sanctioning the ban was not successful. The provision is
enumerated among several state policies, which are generally regarded in law as
unenforceable in the absence of implementing legislation. The 1987 RP Constitution
also contains several other provisions enumerating various state policies.[note
1] Whether these provisions may, by themselves, be the source of enforceable
rights without implementing legislation has been the subject of considerable debate
in the legal sphere and within the Supreme Court.[note 2]

An analysis by the Population Division of the United Nations Department of


Economic and Social Affairs concluded that although the Revised Penal Code does
not list specific exceptions to the general prohibition on abortion, under the general
criminal law principles of necessity as set forth in article 11(4) of the Code, an
abortion may be legally performed to save the pregnant womans life.[2]

Abortion incidence[edit]
One 1997 study estimated that, despite legal restrictions, in 1994 there were
400,000 abortions performed illegally in the Philippines and 80,000 hospitalizations
of women for abortion-related complications;[3] It was reported in 2005 that official
estimates then ranged from 400,000 to 500,000 and rising, and that the World
Health Organization estimate was 800,000. Seventy percent of unwanted
pregnancies in the Philippines end in abortion, according to the WHO. Approximately
4 in 5 abortions in the Philippines are for economic reasons, often where a woman
already has several children and cannot care for another.[4]

While some doctors secretly perform abortions in clinics, the 2,000 to 5,000 peso
(USD $37 to $93) fee is too high for many Filipinos, so they instead buy
abortifacients on the black market, e.g. from vendors near churches.[4] Two-thirds
of Filipino women who have abortions attempt to self-induce or seek solutions from
those who practice folk medicine.[5] 100,000 people end up in the hospital every
year due to unsafe abortions, according to the Department of Health,[4] and 12% of
all maternal deaths in 1994 were due to unsafe abortion. Some hospitals refuse to
treat complications of unsafe abortion, or operate without anesthesia, as
punishment for the patients.[4] The Department of Health has created a program to
address the complications of unsafe abortion, Prevention and Management of
Abortion and its Complications.[6]

See also[edit]

Abortion is a reality for Filipino women. The illegality of abortion has not deterred
Filipino women from inducing unsafe abortion. It has only made it dangerous for
them where estimates in 2012 show that 610,000 women resorted to abortion, over
100,000 women were hospitalized and 3 women die every day due to
unsafe abortion complications.

Just this August, Maria (not her real name), a 21-year old rape victim who became
pregnant as a result of the rape with a child with dwarfism condition, died a day
after giving birth due to childbirth complications. Her mother lamented that her
daughter might be alive today had her daughter been able access to safe and
legal abortion.

I have interviewed many poor women who divulged risking their health and lives by
self-inducing abortion using catheters or dispensing drugs without proper dosage
and supervision eventually suffering complications.

Such cases are common in our country where over half of the pregnancies are
unintended, and about 17% and one-third of the unintended pregnancies end
in abortion nationwide and in the National Capital Region, respectively, and where
two-thirds of those who induce abortion are poor.

Views, religion, and abortion


The 2004 national survey on abortion showed that nearly 90% of those who
induce abortion are Catholic. Regardless of Church teachings, Filipino women still
resort to abortion with the poor, rural and young women being the most vulnerable
to self-induced unsafe abortion.

Although the Reproductive Health (RH) Law provides humane, non-judgmental,


compassionate post-abortion care and, a law known as RA 8344 provides for
stabilizing patients in serious cases such as when a woman is bleeding due to
complications from self-induced unsafe abortion, making abortion safe and legal is
the best means for women who resort to abortion to be assured that their health
and lives are not at risk.

Even with RA 8344, the problem, in the past years and until now, is that some
medical health care providers erroneously deny life-saving procedures even in cases
of intrauterine fetal death where therapeutic abortion is needed to save the life of
the woman.

In cases of ectopic pregnancy where the pregnancy occurs outside the uterine
cavity, surgery is necessary to save a womans life. Within a few hours from a
ruptured ectopic pregnancy, the abdomen becomes rigid and the woman goes into
shock. Ectopic pregnancy is a life-threatening, emergency condition requiring
immediate surgery.

Expressing negative views on abortion is dangerous because it maintains the status


quo where many medical providers threaten women with prosecution in cases of
intrauterine fetal death, spontaneous abortion, abortion due to trauma from
intimate partner violence and self-induced abortion.

As a consequence of these threats of prosecution, women end up dying because


they delay going to hospitals or do not seek emergency medical care at all.

Judgmental views about known abortifacients such as Cytotec must be eliminated


because these are lifesaving medications necessary for the evacuation of the uterus
for incomplete abortion, missed abortion, intrauterine fetal death, severe eclampsia,
labor induction, post-partum hemorrhage, and cervical ripening prior to
obstetrical/gynecological procedures such as therapeutic curettage and insertion of
intrauterine devices.

Abortion and law

The current criminal law on abortion is an outdated colonial law that violates the
rights to health and life of Filipino women.

It was a direct translation of the old Spanish Penal Code of 1870s that used to
criminalize abortionin the time of the Spanish friars and conquistadores.Without
knowing the full consequences of such a harsh and restrictive law, our Congress
enacted the criminal provision in our Revised Penal Code of 1930.
At the time the law was adopted, Filipino women did not even have the right to
vote, there was no Universal Declaration of Human Rights and no international
human rights treaties such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
(ICCPR, 1976), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
(ICESCR, 1976), Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against
Women (CEDAW, 1981), Convention Against Torture (CAT, 1987), and Convention on
the Rights of the Child (CRC, 1990). These came much later.

Denying women access to safe and legal abortion is a means to control womens
bodies, propagating subordination of women where womens decisions including
personal decisions related to pregnancy and childbirth are totally disregarded.

Permitting restrictions on womens right to decide their own bodies perpetuate


discrimination against women and inequality of women in law in clear violation of
womens right to equal protection of the law and womens right to privacy.

Allowing penal provisions imposed on women who induce abortion and those who
assist them to prevail in Philippine law based on religious standards violates the
constitutional guarantee of non-establishment of religion.

Denying access to safe and legal abortion is a public health issue.

The illegality of abortion with no clear exceptions drives women to self-


induce abortion unnecessarily endangering their health and lives. If we want health
care service providers to provide humane, non-judgmental, compassionate post-
abortion care and if we want to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity due to
unsafe abortion, then we should rethink the archaic colonial law that restricts access
to safe and legal abortion.

We should also welcome discussion on exceptions in cases of rape, incest, danger to


the health and life of the woman, grave fetal infirmity incompatible with life outside
the uterus, or allow abortion up to 14 weeks of pregnancy or, better yet, simply
repeal the penal provisions imposing penalty on the women who
induce abortion and the service providers assisting them
Mga komplikasyon dahil
sa abortion
Ker Oliva, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 02 2016 03:14 PM

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Maaaring sumagi sa isip ng ilang indibiwal na nabuntis nang hindi inaasahan


ang magpalaglag. Ang ilan, maaaring itinuloy ang planong ito.
Sa programa ng DZMM na "Private Nights," tinalakay ni Dra. Lulu Marquez
ang abortion at ang mga komplikasyong maaaring makuha dahil dito.

Ani Dra. Marquez, mayroon tatlong uri ng abortion.

Isa rito ang spontaneous abortion kung saan kusang nalalaglag ang bata
kasama na ang inunan nito.

Ang isang nagdadalang-tao naman ay maaaring makaranas ng pagdurugo na


hudyat ng posibleng pagkalaglag. Maaaring bigyan ng gamot ang ina upang
kumapit sa uterine wall ang bata.

Ang induced abortion naman ang pagpapalaglag na maaaring surgical o


chemical.

Depende sa laki ng fetus ang paraan ng abortion.

Kung ang pagpapalaglag ay gagawin pitong linggo matapos ang


menstruation, isasailalim ang babae sa manual vacuum aspiration.

Suction curettage naman ang gagawin kung nasa 14 linggo na ang


pagdadalang tao.

Dilation and curetage (D&C) naman ang para sa nasa 12 linggo habang
dilation and evacuation (D&E) kapag nasa 13-24 linggo.

Ang ilan naman ay nagtuturok ng saline upang kitilin ang buhay ng fetus.

Tulad naman ng cesarean section ang paraan ng pagpapalaglag kapag


nagpa-hysterectomy, ngunit, "in a hysterectomy, no medical attention is given
to the baby to help it survive."

Mayroon ding mga gamot na maaaring inumin upang pigilin ang


progesterone, ang hormone na nagpapanatili sa pagkapit ng sanggol sa
uterine wall, dahilan para malaglag ang bata.

Paglilinaw naman ng doktora, isang krimen ang anumang uri ng induced


abortion sa bansa at parehong may pananagutan sa batas ang ina na nagpa-
abort at ang abortionist.
Ang tanging eksepsyon ay kung lumabas sa pagsusuri ng mga doktor na
isang banta sa buhay ng ina ang pagdadalang tao nito.

Samantala, sinabi ng doktora na may mga komplikasyong maaaring idulot ng


pagpapalaglag. Diin nito, legal o illegal man sa bansa ang abortion, ito ay may
risks at side effects.

Una na rito ang pelvic infection. Aniya, ang mga bacteria mula sa cervix ay
maaaring makapasok sa uterus at magdulot ng impeksyon sa pelvic region.
Maaari itong malunasan ng anti-biotics, subalit may ilang kaso na
kinakailangan pa ng repeat suction abortion.

Maaari ding may maiwang blood clots sa matres o kaya ay mapunit ito dahil
sa curettage.

Posible ring magkaroon ng scarring ang matres. Dahil nagiging manipis at


mahina ito, maaaring mauwi sa miscarriage sa mga susunod na pagbubuntis.

Maaari ding makaranas ng placental problems o magkaroon ng low birth


weight babies ang mga inang nagpalaglag.

Babala naman ng doktora, kung pagkatapos ng pagpapalaglag ay makaranas


ng labis na pagdurugo, matinding kirot na hindi kayang pahupain ng gamot,
mataas na lagnat at panginginig, pagpa-palpitate, agad nang sumugod sa
ospital.

Panawagan naman ni Dra. Marquez sa mga doktor at nars na "huwag ka


nang dumaldal, alagaan mo 'yang pasyente."

"If you need to report it, then report it. Huwag 'yung nagdudugo na nga,
inaaway pa."

Matapos ang pagpapalaglag, karaniwan aniyang nakararanas ng post-


abortive silence o ang pagkahiya, pagka-guilty, at takot na mahusgahan.

Dahil tiyak na maapektuhan ang kaisipan matapos ang abortion, payo ng


doktora, "you need counseling.