Prosecutions are rare, but the criminal penalties create pervasive fear and harmful stigma.
Finerand Rubina Hussain Despite advances in reproductive health law, many Filipino women experience unintended pregnancies, and because abortion is highly stigmatized in the country, many who seek abortion undergo unsafe procedures.
This report provides a summary of reproductive health indicators in the Philippines—in particular, levels of contraceptive use, unplanned pregnancy and unsafe abortion—and describes the sociopolitical context in which services are provided, the consequences of unintended pregnancy and unsafe abortion, and recommendations for improving access to reproductive health services.
Unintended pregnancy is common, in part because of the high unmet need for contraception. Nonetheless, abortion is common, but is often performed in unsanitary conditions and using outdated techniques. Tens of thousands of women are hospitalized each year for complications from unsafe abortion.
To help destigmatize postabortion care, the government should train more providers in the use of safer and less invasive methods of care. July The Philippines, with a steadily increasing population that is approaching million, faces significant challenges in the area of reproductive health.
While contraception is legal in the Philippines, until mounting pressure to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity and to combat poverty in the country arose in recent years, the government had shown only weak support for access to modern contraceptives.
The church not only condemns abortion, but forbids the use of modern contraceptives. Aquino III, endorsed the highly debated Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of commonly known as the Reproductive Health Unwanted pregnancies in the philippines the8 which provides modern contraceptive services, counseling and sex education, particularly for rural and poor Filipinos.
In Decemberlawmakers passed the bill and President Aquino signed it into law. As of earlyimplementation of the law was delayed by the Philippines Supreme Court. Nonetheless, passage of the bill represents a historic milestone. Abortion remains illegal in the Philippines under all circumstances and is highly stigmatized.
A separate set of laws under the Midwifery Act, Medical Act and Pharmaceutical Act permit the revocation or suspension of the licenses of any practitioner who performs abortions or provides abortifacients. Unmet need is widespread and unintended pregnancy is common Inthere were 1.
This is particularly striking among the poorest Filipino women, who have nearly two children more than they intend to have 5.
Table 1 Among married women using any method of contraception inone in four used a traditional, less effective method such as periodic abstinence. At the time of both surveys, one in five married women did not want a child soon or wanted to stop childbearing altogether, but were not using any contraceptive method.
Poor women are particularly vulnerable to barriers to access, as the public-sector provision of modern contraceptives has shifted to private, and often more expensive, sources: Intwo-thirds of women using a modern method obtained it at a public facility, but by the proportion had dropped to less than half.
Inthe median age of marriage among young women was nearly a year later than the median age at first sexual experience Because abortion is highly stigmatized and punishable by law, it is extremely challenging to directly estimate the number of abortions in the Philippines, as both women and providers are likely to not report the procedure.
The most recent study on national abortion incidence in the Philippines used indirect estimation techniques and hospital records to estimate a rate of 27 abortions per 1, women of reproductive age inwith lower and upper estimates of 22 and 31 abortions per 1, women.
According to a national survey of women of reproductive age, individuals who have abortions are similar to Filipino women overall: They are typically Catholic, are married, are mothers and have at least a high school education.
More than half of those who had had an abortion said they underwent the procedure because they felt they already had enough children or that their pregnancy came too soon after their last birth.
Nearly one-third of women felt that their pregnancy would endanger their health, and another third believed that their partner or another family member did not want or support the pregnancy.
Not surprisingly, larger proportions of poor women than of their nonpoor counterparts cited economic reasons for having an abortion, and roughly two-thirds of women who had had an abortion were poor.
Among all the women interviewed, economic reasons and being unmarried or too young were cited as the most important reasons for why women obtain abortions, illustrating that many Filipino women who have not had an abortion understand why other women choose to have one.
The clandestine nature of getting an abortion often leads to unsafe procedures The process of obtaining an abortion in the Philippines is often not straightforward, and may involve many methods and attempts, some of which may have serious health consequences.
While the skill and training of providers and the safety and effectiveness of methods vary widely, nearly all abortions are clandestine and therefore carry associated risks. According to the national abortion study, most women who obtain an abortion do so in the first trimester, but a substantial proportion—nearly one in four—do not terminate their pregnancies until later, when risks are greater.
Surgical methods that are considered relatively safe and effective when performed by a trained provider are often expensive, and poor women may resort to dangerous, painful or ineffective means Figure 2. The health consequences of unsafe abortion are significant Inan estimated 1, maternal deaths in the Philippines were attributable to abortion complications.
Tens of thousands of Filipino women are hospitalized each year as a result of complications from unsafe abortion, at a rate of 4.
Projections based on data fromassuming that the rate stayed the same and taking into account increases in population, indicate that 90, Filipino women were hospitalized for abortion complications inand overwomen in Jul 06, · MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) will address the shortage of contraceptives in the public sector to prevent unwanted pregnancies and .
We Ecuador (Eggleston ), Sri Lanka (De Silva and hypothesise that unwanted or mistimed pregnancies Ban ), the UK (Cartwright ), and Zimbabwe will be less likely than intended pregnancies to be Unintended pregnancies 79 associated with the receipt of ANC by the mother, is analysed as a separate case. India Holding Women Hostage to Unwanted Pregnancies By forcing women who wish to end their pregnancies after 20 weeks to either go to court or risk an illegal procedure, India’s abortion law is a violation of human rights, says Melissa Upreti of the Center for Reproductive Rights. Unintended Pregnancy and Induced Abortion in the Philippines2 Guttmacher Institute Philippines; Alfredo Tadiar (retired), College of Law and dens of unwanted pregnancy and unsafe and clandestine abortion that so many Filipino women face. The report’s.
Human Trafficking: The Role of the Health Care Provider May 14, Welcome to the webinar! We will begin in a moment. To listen to audio via phone.
Sex is a topic that Filipinos don’t usually talk about in the open. We’ve always been prudes that way. In a way, we still are.
Knowledge is power, and the lack of it is probably part of the reason behind teenage and unwanted pregnancies, as well as the alarmingly continuous and rapid rise of HIV infections in the Philippines.
Overview. Teenage pregnancy is defined as an unintended pregnancy during adolescence. Approximately , of to year-olds become pregnant each year, according to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, though many teenagers do not believe that they will get pregnant if they engage in sexual activity.
The Philippines is the only country in the Asia-Pacific where the rate of teen pregnancies has risen over the last two decades, according to the UN. The country has a population of around This article needs to be arteensevilla.com particular: It is missing the provisions of the RA , the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of , on abortion and treatment of post-abortive complications.
Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. Abortion in the Philippines is mostly illegal, or banned .