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Abortion: Realities & Responsibilities

  • Date Submitted: 08/09/2010 11:55 PM
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Abortion: Realities & Responsibilities

Abortion is controversial but we must discuss the issues here because it is happening, and is more widespread than we care to admit. If we truly care about life, then we must understand what is going on: why do abortions occur? What happens after a woman has or attempts an abortion?*

This report relies mainly on research findings from a nationwide study on abortion coordinated by UP Population Institute (UPPI) with partner agencies in different parts of the country, including Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, Davao City and Tuguegarao. The study, the most comprehensive yet so far for the Philippines, was conducted in 1994, with preliminary results released during workshop in 1996. Additional results have been released in a publication, Clandestine Abortion: A Philippine Reality (Perez et al. 1997).

Abortion and Philippines Laws

Abortion is illegal in the Philippines and is not permitted under any circumstance. Article 256 of the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines prescribes heavy penalties for both intentional and unintentional abortion, including women who “practice abortion upon herself or shall consent that another person should do so.”

The 1987 Constitution of the Philippines effectively any amendments to the Penal Code’s provisions on abortion because of Article II, Section 12, which states: “It (the State) shall equally protect the equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception.” In the principle, legalizing abortion would require a referendum to amend the constitution.

In 1999, Congressman Roy Padilla Jr. of Camarines Norte filed House Bill 6343 seeking to allow abortion in special cases (e.g., rape, congenital defects in the fetus or cases where the mother’s life is endangered). It is unlikely that the bill will be passed but it has stimulated discussion on abortion.

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