Philippines: Three Pro-RH Bill Groups Support Abortion

International   |   Dominic Francisco   |   Sep 7, 2011   |   10:22AM   |   Manilla, Philippines

At least three non-government organizations have been found to be espousing the legalization of abortion in the Philippines, as senators resumed floor debates on the controversial “reproductive health” (RH) bill Monday.

One of the sponsors of Senate Bill No. 2865, Sen. Pia Cayetano, did not deny that groups such as the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP), the Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR), and Likhaan have been campaigning for legalized abortion, under interpellation by Sen. Vicente Sotto III.

Sotto pointed out that FPOP got US$617,000 (P26 million) in funding from the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) – the world’s largest abortion provider – last year.

FPOP’s website carries a document titled “Medical and Service Delivery Guidelines for Sexual and Reproductive Health Services,” which describes medical and surgical methods for inducing abortion.

“[E]fforts should be made to inform the public that abortion is safest when performed early, and women who seek abortion should be encouraged to attend as early in the pregnancy as possible,” the document on the FPOP website states.

FPOP is also on the listing of “Sexual Health Services and abortion clinics Worldwide” by the Dutch abortion group Women on Waves (WoW). WoW takes women aboard hired ships to undergo abortions in international waters, to escape national laws banning abortion.

WoW states on its website: “If you live in a country where there is no access to safe abortion services and you would like to obtain a medical abortion with Mifepristone and Misoprostol, please go to Women on Web. This is an online medical abortion help service that refers to a doctor who can provide you with a medical abortion.”

Mifepristone and Misoprostol are abortion drugs, and both are not legal in the Philippines.

Providing how-to instructions for abortion

Likhaan, meanwhile, published last year a Filipino translation of the book “Where Women Have No Doctor,” Chapter 15 of which has a section titled “Mga Ligtas na Paraan ng Pagpapalaglag.” The book is available to the public on the Likhaan website.

Tinatanggal ang binubuntis sa pamamagitan ng paghigop, gamit ang ispesyal na tubo (cannula) na pinapadaan sa puwerta at cervix pa-pasok sa matris. Puwedeng gawin ito na hindi pinapatulog ang babae, pero minsan, iniiniksyunan ng gamot sa cervix para makatulong sa sakit. Sa manu-manong proseso (manual vacuum aspiration o MVA), tinatanggal ang binubuntis sa pamamagitan ng ispesyal na heringgilya (syringe). Kung hindi, gumagamit ng maliit na makinang de-kuryente,” the book states.

Mayroon na ngayong mga gamot na nagagamit ang mga doktor at health worker para magpalaglag. Pinapaimpis ng mga gamot ang matris at pinipiga palabas ang binubuntis. Ang ilang gamot ay nilalagay sa loob ng puwerta … ang ilan ay iniinom, at ang ilan ay iniiniksyon. Kung tama ang gagamiting gamot o kumbinasyon ng mga gamot, ligtas at mabisang paraan ito,” it adds.

Pushing abortion acceptance despite being unlawful

The Manila- and Amsterdam-based WGNRR, headed by UP professor Dr. Sylvia Claudio, talks about its “Abortion Rights Advocacy” on its website:

“Throughout its almost 30 year history, WGNRR has made abortion advocacy a priority.”

The Claudio-led group’s “specific goals” include the investigation of “ways to improve access despite the law,” sharing of “experiences and strategies about how to confront religious fundamentalists,” and finding the “best practices for linking abortion rights to other social justice and human rights campaigns.”

Sotto pointed out that the RH bill provides an “open door” to abortion – Section 3 paragraph i. The provision states: “While this Act does not amend the penal law on abortion, the government shall ensure that all women needing care for post-abortion complications shall be treated and counseled in a humane, non-judgmental and compassionate manner.”

“People and organizations behind it, as far as I’m concerned, are the difficulties I am encountering [in this bill],” Sotto said.

“IPPF has lobbied worldwide for the legalization and repeal of all laws preventing legal access to abortion,” he added.

In reply, Cayetano said: “The fact that an organization has made statements inconsistent with public policy does not prevent them from making statements consistent [with public policy].”

Using a poor analogy, the pro-RH senator said that even if Osama bin Laden supported policies against climate change, environmentalist Sen. Loren Legarda wouldn’t want to be associated with the brains behind the 9/11 attacks.

Sotto, however, retorted: “Climate change – everybody will agree to that. Eh ito contraception and abortion eh!” Note: Dominic Francisco writes for CBCP for Life and this article is reprinted with permission.