Monday, February 4, 2008
Philippines Abortion Rate is Among the World’s Highest in 2007
A fetus was found dumped inside Malacañang comfort room, and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, a stern supporter (some would say puppet) of the powerful Catholic Church, expressed sadness. It is interesting to note that she’s not surprised. That is because Arroyo knew all along that this dumping of fetus at her palace is not a special case. In a country where abortion is illegal, dumped fetus is common. Abortion in the Philippines is a national secret, widely practiced, seldom discussed.
Indeed, the above is very true. When I was still in my province in the Philippines. there was no week that there was no report about a dumped fetus. Others were even found to be alive, dumped in garbage places and trash cans or floating in the river and found in the shoreline. These dead or alive fetuses were placed inside plastic bags or boxed in small cartons. Yeah, like a gift! I wonder why the dumper did not send it to the country's cardinal for prayer on the fetus' soul. Yes, everytime there are talks on abortion or even contaceptive the church gets in!
Yes, for the church, it is better to let the mother die than the fetus. And yes, it does not question reason at all, just let the fetus be a child and make it beg for its food when it becomes a human someday or make it's way to live someday as a robber because the parents cannot provide anything so it has to survive! I don't know what's with the church! Indeed there is so much hypocrisy in the Philippines and I do find it very difficult to live in this kind of environment though I love my country and my fellow Filipinos. But with the wrong and unreasonable things happening around, no one can expect me to close my eyes and be quiet about it! A lot of change is needed!
Philippines Secret: How Many?
Because abortion is illegal in the Philippines, the exact statistics on how many Filipina has had an abortion is hard to estimate, but studies reveals how widespread the practice is.
A 2006 study done by Josefina Cabigon of the University of the Philippines Population Institute together with the Guttmacher Institute reveals:
…six in 10 Filipino women had an unintended pregnancy at some point in their lives because of lack of access to and knowledge of modern contraceptives. That fraction, says the study, translates to some 1.43 million unintended pregnancies each year, a third of which end in abortion (roughly 450,000).
Experts at the Alan Guttmacher Institute, an international NGO said in 2005 that almost half a million induced abortions occur each year in the Philippines:
Based on medium estimates, 400,500 women nationwide had an induced abortion in 1994; this number increased to 473,400 in 2000.
Population Reference Bureau has a table of comparison that includes the Philippines:
Women have abortions regardless of whether the procedure is legal in the country in which they reside. Evidence shows that laws that restrict abortion don’t guarantee low induced abortion rates: Nearly one-half of all abortions worldwide are performed in countries that allow abortions only in very limited circumstances.
According to recent column of The Economist, which cites a United Nations Report, restrictive laws do not reduce abortion:
The risk of dying in a botched abortion is only part of a broader problem of maternal health in poor countries. Of all the inequalities of development, this is arguably the worst. According to a report published by Population Action International, a Washington-based lobby group, women in poor countries are 250 times more likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth than women in rich ones. Of the 535,000 women who died in childbirth or from pregnancy-related complications in 2005, 99% were in developing countries, according to another report by a group of UN agencies.
Indeed the number is very big and I know this is not a lie! Women resort to illegal abortion (since it cannot be legal) in the country (Philippines). And yes, this is opression of the poor and women because those who have money can afford to go out of the country and seek professional abortion where it is legal. And the poor and ignorants are left behind in danger: they are those who go to abortionists practising without study and only taking the fetus out by a clip or letting the pregnant woman take something (to drink or eat) incomprehensible to let the fetus die!
I hope that the church in the Philippines stop this hypocrisy and let it be over. I know this is not the only problem because government funding is also needed to educate parents and let the health centers be prepared if ever abortion be allowed. But if this happens in the country, I see that this is one big leap against the clutch of the unreasonable church.
If I have to be asked if I am infavor of abortion, of course I would say yes. That does not mean that I do it. That means for those who need it! I know I am not the one who needs it because I am knowledgeable enough and educated enough not to have abortion or unwanted pregnancy be on my way. And that is because I have learned a lot from university and have practised my profession as well. But how about to those fellow Filipinas who cannot even eat three times a day and a baby is on the way? How about those who discoveed that the baby will only be abnormal and sick all its life? How about those fetus with STD's from parents? There are a lot of things to consider and I hope the church's council opens its mind. The church that have always brag about being the only Catholic country in Asia; A church bragging to be in a country of (legal) abortion free (because illegal counts up to half a million!) but it is the same church that close its eyes and ears without seeing the circumstances and consequences of the situations. I hope the church helps for progress and not only wish to have lots of churchgoers to ask the donation! I do hope hypocrisies be stopped! I do hope Philippines improve its abortion rate to a minimal number with proper education. I do hope that the overall situation in the country be improved for the better. I have lots of hopes and I do hope many are with me. I do hope... and i love Philippines! And YOU?
Italized texts are sourced from my READINGS.