Advocating for Abortion Reform in the Philippines

New brief by the Center and its partner outlines the impact of the country’s restrictive abortion laws and recommends legalization and decriminalization.

Center for Reproductive Rights
May 14, 2024

In its continuing efforts to advocate for abortion decriminalization and reform in the Philippines, the Center for Reproductive Rights and its regional partner, Philippine Safe Abortion Advocacy Network (PINSAN), recently developed a brief outlining the impact of the country’s restrictive abortion laws and advocating for abortion decriminalization and reforms aligning with international human rights standards. 

In Brief: Unveiling the Realities of Laws on Abortion in the Philippines examines the country’s abortion laws—including their origins and restrictions—and the laws’ real-life impact on the health and rights of Filipino women and girls. 


Philippines: Making abortion a constitutional right

MAR 26, 2024

The Philippine prohibitions on abortion are one of the strictest in the world. This is the story of one woman who didn’t let that stop her from getting an abortion.

France just made abortion a constitutional right. Compared to the United States, where Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court recognized and upheld the constitutional right to abortion, France has enshrined it in its constitution – the legal decree from which all other laws are founded. This means that the right to abortion in France cannot be overturned as it was in the reversal of Roe vs. Wade. France is the first country where women and pregnant people are explicitly guaranteed the right to terminate a pregnancy and make decisions about their bodies.


Empowering mothers, securing futures: The quest for safe motherhood in the Philippines

March 01, 2024
By Gelaine Louise Gutierrez

Bringing a child into the world should be a joyous milestone, not a mortal risk. Yet in the Philippines, over 2,000 women lost their lives while giving birth in 2021 - more than double the number in 2019.

These preventable deaths underscore the urgent need to secure safe motherhood through robust healthcare access and empowerment of Filipino women. Giving birth remains one of the most dangerous moments for women in underserved communities lacking proper medical facilities and prenatal care.


Safe spaces advocates to senators: Study, don’t shun decriminalization of abortion the moment you hear “abortion”

Friday, November 17, 2023

Advocates for safe spaces called on senators to study and not shun the call for the decriminalization of abortion automatically after remarks made during the Senate plenary debate for the 2024 budget of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).

At the debate, senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Jinggoy Ejercito, and Miguel Zubiri took issue with the CHR’s previous position to decriminalize abortion, and moved to defer its budget pending a “strong stand against abortion.”

But safe space advocates, Enough Is Enough Ph (EIE), claim that the senators went on auto mode in shunning the critical issue the moment they heard “abortion” as if it were taboo as they held the CHR budget hostage to forward their anti-progress, anti-women, and anti-poor agenda.


Phillipines – CHR issues firm stand vs abortion

By: Charie Abarca
November 15, 2023

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Wednesday officially stated that it is against abortion after the Senate deferred its deliberation on the agency’s proposed 2024 budget after learning that one of its officials supports decriminalization of abortion. 

“CHR considers paramount the right to life. The Commission similarly adheres to the 1987 Philippine Constitution specifically, to equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception, and is therefore, against abortion, save for extreme circumstances,” said the commission in a letter sent to Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri.


Senate defers CHR budget deliberation over abortion stance

Johnson Manabat, ABS-CBN News
Nov 14 2023

MANILA — The Senate on Tuesday deferred the deliberation on the Commission on Human Rights' (CHR) P934 million budget next year after senators asked for a clear stand on the issue of abortion.

During the plenary debates, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano asked CHR budget sponsor Sen. Jinggoy Estrada about an alleged statement made by CHR Executive Director Jacqueline De Guia supporting the decriminalization of abortion in the Philippines.  “Kasama sa pinu-push allegedly is abortion, to decriminalize abortion. May I know if this is true and what is the context of this, is it an official CHR recommendation or is this a misquote?" Cayetano asked.


Philippines: 6 Chinese, 1 Filipino nabbed for operating abortion clinic in Parañaque in police crackdown

By Zacarian Sarao
June 20, 2023

MANILA, Philippines — Six Chinese nationals and one Filipino were arrested by police for allegedly conducting abortion procedures and selling abortion drugs in Parañaque City, said the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) on Tuesday.

According to the NCRPO’s police report, the seven were arrested in Tambo, Parañaque City, after weeks of surveillance.


Oxfam Supports Reproductive Rights for Women Around the World

March 23, 2023
Marevic Parcon and Melissa Fuller

Oxfam is dedicated to addressing the challenges faced by people in the Philippines and Canada to access reproductive health services.

The Oxfam Confederation is networked in 87 countries as part of a global movement for change. Its mission is to build lasting solutions to poverty and injustice, focusing on improving lives and promoting women’s and girls’ rights. Reproductive justice is a particular area of focus for the organization.


Missing from Harris’ meeting with Filipinas: Reproductive health, education

Youth leader Carmen Lopez, an audience member in US Vice President Kamala Harris' meeting with Filipina women's rights advocates, says the recent Roe v. Wade overturning in the US may affect reproductive health advocacy across the world

NOV 22, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – A youth leader said she would have wanted to talk about sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) as well as empowering Filipino girls through education during United States Vice President Kamala Harris’ town hall discussion with women’s rights advocates on Monday, November 21.

Carmen Lopez, who is part of the AMPLIFY council of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative, noted that Harris was a “pro-choice” advocate. Harris has advocated for abortion rights in America.


Philippines – Govt rejects UN proposal to allow divorce, abortion

by Franco Jose C. Baroña
November 22, 2022

THE Philippines has rejected outright the recommendation of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to legalize same-sex marriage, as well as to allow abortion and divorce.

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said such recommendations of other UN member-states during last week's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva are "not acceptable."