by Shobha Shukla, CNS
July 15, 2020
I am tempted to share this very recent photograph of a newly done up mural in a very prominent area of my city barely a stone-throw distance from the state parliament. It is a clear depiction of what our patriarchal society wants its women to be-meek submissive, docile, their colourless faces devoid of any hope or desires. I fervently hope that it is not the sign of times to come.
This year’s World Population Day theme of safeguarding the health and rights of women and girls is bang on spot, more so in the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic.
ASEAN Underground Abortion
6 July 2020
Abortion is an extremely taboo topic in some parts of conservative Southeast
ASEAN member states such as the Philippines and Lao do not permit abortion.
Whereas Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand only allow abortion if a medical
practitioner deems that continuing the pregnancy poses a danger to the mother’s
life and health.
Canada pledges P44.5 million in COVID-19 aid to Philippines
(Philstar.com) - June 10, 2020
MANILA, Philippines — Canada said it is providing P44.5 million worth of assistance to support the country’s fight against the spread of coronavirus disease.
In a statement Wednesday, the Embassy of Canada in the Philippines said Ottawa will donate 120,000 pieces of N95 masks worth around P29.5 million.
Also part of Canada’s aid is the provision of around P15.2 million to “ensure the unhampered provision of sexual and reproductive health services during COVID-19.”
Lawyer prepares draft bill decriminalizing abortion, earns support and condemnation
By Coconuts Manila
Jun 2, 2020
A woman’s rights lawyer publicly announced last week that she had prepared a proposed draft bill that would seek to decriminalize abortion in the country, a move that earned her massive praise as well as criticism.
In her online statement, Clara Rita Padilla, the executive director of the organization EnGenderRights wrote, “Amidst the COVID-19 havoc, here is the bill I’m finalizing to decriminalize abortion in the Philippines. This bill when passed into law can save women’s lives.”
Gender rights lawyer drafts proposed bill to decriminalize abortion
Published June 1, 2020
By Gabriela Baron
Atty. Clara Rita Padilla is finalizing a first draft of the Philippine Safe Abortion Advocacy Network (PINSAN) Decriminalizing Abortion to Save Women’s Lives bill, which aims to amend article 256-259 of the Revised Penal Code and establishes institutional mechanisms for the protection and support of women.
“This bill, when passed into law, will save the lives of many women,” Padilla told Manila Bulletin.
Unintended consequences of ECQ: Unplanned and unwanted pregnancies
Posted at May 10 2020
After seeing her brother locked up in a city jail despite being a minor for charges that were withdrawn, Michelle (not her real name) discovered how poor families like hers are not treated fairly.
Since then, the 15-year-old girl from Tondo dreamed of becoming a lawyer but she was forced to set aside her ambition after learning that she was six months pregnant last January.
Independent submission to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in the Philippines as requested by the Human Rights Council (the Council) in its Resolution 41/2 adopted on 11 July 2019
Posted 10 February 2020
Supplementary information on the grave human rights violations resulting from women’s and girls’ lack of effective access to safe and legal abortion in the Philippines
Respectfully submitted on January 31, 2020
by Catholics for Reproductive Health
Center for Reproductive Rights
Family Planning Organization of the Philippines
Philippine Safe Abortion Network
Women’s Clinic Pilipinas
Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights
1. This submission was prepared by a coalition of civil society groups working in the Philippines to contribute to the upcoming report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on the situation of human rights in the Philippines as requested by the Human Rights Council (the Council) in its Resolution 41/2 adopted on 11 July 2019 on the promotion and protection of human rights in the country. We would like to direct the attention of the OHCHR to grave violations of fundamental human rights resulting from one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world which causes preventable deaths and injuries among women and girls who are unable to access safe and legal abortion services.
[OPINION] Lives in danger: Extrajudicial killings and the denial of abortion
Permitting access to safe and legal abortion saves lives; extrajudicial killings take them away
July 29, 2019
While President Duterte left out the status of women’s reproductive health and rights in the country from his 4th State of the Nation Address, the recent UN Human Rights Council resolution and false claims against those who advanced it demonstrate that the government still has a long way to go in respecting, protecting, and promoting the reproductive rights and human rights of all Filipinos. (READ: Quick point-by-point summary of Duterte's SONA 2019)
For the past 3 years, a slate of extrajudicial killings has been committed as part of the government’s anti-illegal drug campaign. Thousands have gone missing or have been killed, prompting the United Nations Human Rights Council to adopt a resolution condemning these acts. It urged the country to prevent more killings, conduct investigations, and ensure accountability.
Government officials who are sympathetic to the campaign have attempted to undermine those who passed the resolution, on the false pretext that such countries lack the moral legitimacy to condemn the Philippines because they permit legal abortion.
A Century Old “Heartbeat Bill” In The Philippines
By Featuresdesk (ICG) on June 12, 2019
Earlier this May, the US signed a law called the “Heartbeat Bill” which according to news, seeks to make abortion illegal as soon as the fetus’ heartbeat is detectable. In most cases, this is at the six-week mark of a pregnancy – before many women even know they are pregnant. This law has no exceptions for rape or incest.
Here in the Philippines there are facts on abortion you should know about that are similar to “Heartbeat Bill”.
Manila’s Abortion Ban Is Killing Women
Roughly 1,000 women in the Philippines die every year from lack of safe terminations. Others go to jail.
By Nick Aspinwall
May 29, 2019
Several U.S. states including Alabama, Georgia, and Missouri have recently passed draconian abortion laws. In Alabama, the new rules effectively ban abortion unless the life of the mother or the fetus is at risk and make no exceptions for rape or incest. The law has drawn damning comparisons to countries such as Bangladesh and Romania.
BBut the most relevant example may be a country whose religious and political history is closely tied to the United States. In the Philippines, a former U.S. colony, abortion has been banned entirely for over a century. Philippine law mandates prison terms of up to six years for people who have abortions and for anyone who assists in the procedure. Arrests and convictions of women and abortion providers are commonly reported in local media, and United Nations committees repeatedly note that the abortion ban disproportionately harms socioeconomically disadvantaged women and members of other vulnerable groups. In practice, abortion is allowed in cases where the pregnant person’s life is at risk, but no law explicitly states this.