Philippines – Secret service: Underground doctors induce safe abortions

Part 3 of 3: Secret service: Underground doctors induce safe abortions
A group of medical doctors in the Philippines risk careers to help women, in the belief that it is their duty to ensure the mental and physical well-being of their patients

By Natashya Gutierrez
August 20, 2018

MANILA, Philippines – Amanda had gotten pregnant twice.

The first time she got pregnant, her then-boyfriend left her after finding out she was expecting.

“I decided to keep the child and now have a very close relationship with my son,” she wrote in an online forum for Filipina women.

Continued: https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/investigative/209891-underground-doctors-induce-safe-abortions-philippines

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Philippines – How backstreet abortionists terminate 7-month pregnancies

Part 2: How backstreet abortionists terminate 7-month pregnancies
The methods used by backstreet abortionists in the Philippines are barbaric, as told by women who experienced it themselves

By Natashya Gutierrez
August 15, 2018

MANILA, Philippines – The advertisements on the online forum are clear and compelling, vowing painless abortions for pregnant women. They assure Filipinas they can terminate pregnancies at any stage, even up until 7 months, without much pain.

The women believe them.

It's a mix of desperation and a lack of knowledge on safe abortion methods that drives Filipinas to put their faith – and their lives – in the hands of other women they don't know, backstreet abortionists they meet online, who assure them they can help for a low price.

Continued: https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/investigative/209416-ways-backstreet-abortionists-philippines-terminate-late-term-pregnancies

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Filipinas buy, sell, rate abortions in online forum

Part 1 of 3: Filipinas buy, sell, rate abortions in online forum
In the Philippines, abortion is illegal and deeply stigmatized, leaving desperate women with no choice but to seek unsafe options online

By Natashya Gutierrez
August 13, 2018

MANILA, Philippines – It was a desperate cry for help.

On the evening of August 2, 2015, a woman with username "aifa2500" posted on an online forum in the Philippines. She had gotten an abortion a day prior, from a backstreet abortionist she referred to as "Miss Shine."

In broken English, she explained that she had gone for her procedure to abort her 6-month-old fetus. Upon arrival, she explained she was made to go to the toilet to pee, before being asked to remove her pants and underwear because “she's going to put the catheter to push the baby out.”

Continued: https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/in-depth/208267-online-forum-sells-abortions-in-the-philippines

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Philippines – Right to Safe and Legal Abortion, Divorce, Marriage Equality and Women’s Affirmative Action Missing in PDu30 SONA

Right to Safe and Legal Abortion, Divorce, Marriage Equality and Women’s Affirmative Action Missing in PDu30 SONA

July 23, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Quezon City, July 23, 2017 – “In President Duterte’s SONA speech, the rights to safe and legal abortion, divorce, marriage equality and women’s affirmative action were blatantly missing. If we recall, after the recent President’s meeting with the CBCP, it was mentioned in the news that President Duterte and the CBCP were in agreement as regards the issues on divorce, abortion, and marriage equality. It is unfortunate that the passage of laws that would have far-reaching impact on the rights of women and LGBTI people were absent in his speech,” said Atty. Clara Rita Padilla, Executive Director of EnGendeRights.

“In the draft Constitution that the President is supporting, no woman sits in the Consultative Committee and it is no surprise that the draft itself does not contain affirmative action ensuring women’s representation in Congress and the proposed Constitutional Courts, among others. The Filipino populace would eventually reject this draft as the mere process of drafting itself is questionable as women were left out in the process and women’s rights are glaringly absent in the draft,” said Atty. Padilla.

“For instance, since Philippine jurisprudence recognizes that therapeutic abortion is allowed to save the life of the woman as held in the 1961 Supreme Court case of Geluz v. CA, it is high time that Congress repeal the restrictive provisions in the Revised Penal Code to expressly allow safe and legal abortion on demand or at the very least on various grounds such as risk to the health and life of the woman, rape, fetal impairment, and other reasons the woman might want to seek abortion such as socio-economic reasons, among others,” added Atty. Padilla.

“In the 2017 SONA, President Duterte mentioned that he was against abortion, however, there are many cases where therapeutic abortion can be allowed to save the life of a woman or to prevent disability. Pregnant women with conditions such as dwarfism, hypertensive disorders, tuberculosis, diabetes, bronchial asthma, goiter, HIV, malaria, severe anemia, malnutrition, and pregnant women who are less than 18 or greater than 35 years of age, have a fourth or more children, are battered by their husbands or partners, and have spinal metal plates may die from complications from pregnancy and childbirth and may need access to safe abortion to save their lives and prevent life-long disability,” added Atty. Padilla.

“There are women who become suicidal because of their pregnancy. These include rape victim-survivors who suffer depression, become suicidal, and resort to clandestine and unsafe abortion. Some incest rape victim-survivors who became pregnant after being raped by their own fathers whether adolescents or adults have resorted to clandestine and unsafe abortion risking their health and lives. About one in every nine Filipino women who induce abortion are rape victim-survivors. Without access to safe and legal abortion, they end up part of the statistics of women who die from unsafe abortion complications. These cases fall under the ambit of therapeutic abortions to save the life and health of the woman,” explained Atty. Padilla.

“Because of lack of access to safe and legal abortion in the Philippines, in 2012, there were about three Filipino women who died every day from complications from unsafe abortion. Many women report being treated inhumanely when they are rushed to the hospitals to get treatment for complications for their self-induced abortions. And because of the restrictive abortion law and judgment passed on women, it is not only the women who induce abortions who are treatly harshly but also women who suffer complications from spontaneous abortions, miscarriages after being beaten by their abusive husbands, and fetal death. I hope our representatives in the Philippine government will realize how these human rights violations are so pervasive in our society and they just simply can’t turn a blind eye on this important issue. I hope the Philippines will soon decriminalize abortion since presently abortion is only recognized in our country to save the woman's life and for medical necessity based on a 1961 supreme Court decision,” added Atty. Padilla.

Abortion is common in the Philippines with about 70 women inducing abortion every hour and about 11 women hospitalized every hour from unsafe abortion complications in 2012. The number of women who have induced abortion in 2018 would be significantly higher since the number of women inducing abortion increases proportionally with the growing Philippine population.

Unsafe abortion is the third leading cause of maternal death and is a leading cause of hospitalizations.

There are various reasons why Filipino women undergo abortion. Filipino women induce abortion due to various reasons such as:
- Economic
- Inability to afford the cost of raising a child or an additional child –75% of the women
- Too soon (having enough children or their pregnancy came too soon after their last birth) – more than half of the women
- Age/Too young – 46% were women younger than 25
- Health risks – nearly one-third of the women
- Rape - 13% of the women
- Pregnancy not supported by Partner/Family - one-third of the women

Most of the women who are hospitalized and die from complications from unsafe abortion are poor, Roman Catholics, married, with at least three children, and have at least a high school education. Poor women comprise two-thirds of those who induce abortion, using riskier abortion methods, thus disproportionately experiencing severe complications —clearly showing that lack of access to safe abortion is a social justice issue.

The archaic Spanish colonial law on abortion in our 1930 Revised Penal Code has not decreased the number of women who induce abortion rather it has made it dangerous for women who resort to clandestine and unsafe abortion.***

Contact Person:

Atty. Clara Rita “Claire” A. Padilla
Executive Director
EnGendeRights, Inc.
Mobile: (+63)918-2182682
Email: engenderights@gmail.com;
padillaclara@yahoo.com
Blog: http://clararitapadilla.blogspot.com
Like us: https://www.facebook.com/engenderightsphilippines
Twitter: @Clara Rita Padilla

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It’s time for the Philippines to decriminalize abortion

It’s time for the Philippines to decriminalize abortion
Most of the women who are hospitalized and die from complications from unsafe abortion are poor, Roman Catholics, married, with at least 3 children, and have at least a high school education

Clara Rita Padilla
June 01, 2018

Last May 25, in a historic referendum, Ireland paved the way to increase access to abortion. The Irish citizens who voted to repeal the 8th amendment to the Constitution providing equal protection to the life of the woman and the unborn have won. This is great news for Irish women and for women living in restrictive abortion laws.

Finally, the overwhelming vote of 66.4% to repeal the 8th amendment is in line with women’s right to health. It clearly manifests respect for women’s right to decide and a significant step to save women’s lives and freedom from disability that result from denial of access to safe and legal abortion.

Continued: https://www.rappler.com/thought-leaders/203572-time-decriminalize-abortion-philippines

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Humanae Vitae: The Story Behind the Ban on Contraception

Humanae Vitae: The Story Behind the Ban on Contraception
2018 Issue 1, By Conscience
Posted Apr 29, 2018

Fifty Years Ago, Pope Paul VI Slammed The Door On Catholics’ use of modern contraceptives with the encyclical Humanae Vitae and its fateful words: “The Church…in urging men to the observance of the precepts of the natural law, which it interprets by its constant doctrine, teaches that each and every marital act must of necessity retain its intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life.” 1

Humanae Vitae marked a turning point for the Catholic church, as Pope Paul rejected the theologically sound findings of his own Papal Birth Control Commission in favor of a turn to rigid orthodoxy. Having missed the chance to craft a modern, compassionate sexual ethic based on the individual consciences of Catholics, the church found itself largely ignored on matters of sex by its own faithful, which left it grasping for other ways to enforce its teachings. It was also a historic moment for the rest of the world, as Humanae Vitae would come to dominate the hierarchy’s stance on public health challenges like the spread of HIV/ AIDS and access to birth control in the developing world.

Continued: http://consciencemag.org/2018/04/29/humanae-vitae/

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This Is How Contraception Saves Women’s Lives In The Asia-Pacific

This Is How Contraception Saves Women's Lives In The Asia-Pacific

"Being able to avoid an unwanted pregnancy could be the difference between life and death.”
Posted on November 21, 2017
Gina Rushton, BuzzFeed News Reporter, Australia

Around 214 million women of reproductive age in developing regions across the world want to access modern methods of contraception but can’t, estimates Marie Stopes International (MSI) Australia, a non-profit social enterprise providing access to reproductive health services in the Asia Pacific region.

Around 43% of pregnancies in developing regions are unintended and 13% of global maternal mortality is due to unsafe abortion.

Continued at source: https://www.buzzfeed.com/ginarushton/this-is-how-contraception-saves-womens-lives-in-the-asia

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Philippines: Implanon contraceptive implants do not induce abortion – FDA

Implanon contraceptive implants do not induce abortion – FDA

The FDA certification that Implanon and Implanon NXT are non-abortifacients is a condition set by the Supreme Court for lifting the 2-year-old TRO on contraceptives

Mara Cepeda
November 12, 2017

MANILA, Philippines – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has certified that contraceptive implant brands Implanon and Implanon NXT are non-abortifacients or do not cause abortion.

The FDA on Sunday, November 12, released the results of its re-certification process of all 51 contraceptives covered by the two-year-old temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the Supreme Court (SC) against the Reproductive Health (RH) Law. The document was dated Friday, November 10.

Continued at source: https://www.rappler.com/nation/187493-implanon-contraceptive-implants-non-abortifacients-fda

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Inside the Philippines’ women-run crime ring selling abortion elixirs

Inside the Philippines’ women-run crime ring selling abortion elixirs
For poor Filipinas with unwanted pregnancies, this is what reproductive care looks like.

Patrick Winn
Aug 23, 2017

The drug deal takes place in the back of a sedan, parked near one of Manila’s most exalted cathedrals.

The dealer, Elsa — not her real name — has brought her wares in a plastic shopping bag. At my request, she dumps the illicit inventory on the backseat for inspection.

Continued at source: Global Post Investigations: https://gpinvestigations.pri.org/inside-the-philippines-women-run-crime-ring-selling-abortion-elixirs-51cd2de6cb8b

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Philippines: Duterte told: Therapeutic abortion allowed to save women’s lives

Duterte told: Therapeutic abortion allowed to save women’s lives

By: Tonette Orejas
Inquirer Central Luzon
July 26, 2017

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — Therapeutic abortion, or the medical procedure that terminates pregnancy to be able to save the life of a woman, is allowed in the Philippines, according to a women’s health group.

The group made the statement in reaction to the anti-abortion posture President Duterte expressed in his State of the Nation Address on Monday.

“In Philippine jurisprudence, it is recognized that therapeutic abortion is allowed to save the life of the woman,” lawyer Clara Rita Padilla, EnGendeRights executive director, said.

Continued at source: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/917566/duterte-told-therapeutic-abortion-allowed-to-save-womens-lives

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