Tag Archives: Abortion

[Press Release] PM supports clamour on the vote for the RH bill

Labor group supports clamour on the vote for the RH bill

Women members of the Partido ng Manggagawa joined women groups from the Reproductive Health Advocacy Network (RHAN) at the House plenary session this afternoon to show support to clamor to finally put the RH bill to vote.

“It’s been more than a decade it is time to pass the RH bill. Poor and working women have waited long enough,” explained PM General Secretary Judy Ann Chan-Miranda.

She added that, “Poor women need family planning services and commodities which they cannot afford. Millions of poor women and adolescents are left uninformed about their reproductive health rights and needs. We do want merely want a ‘yes’ vote to the RH bill, we want the provisions intended to address the reproductive rights and needs of poor and working women and adolescents intact,” asserted Miranda.

Partido ng Manggagawa called on the pro-RH legislators from the House of Representatives and the Senate to ensure that the following provisions in the RH bill shall not be comprised:
1. The right of women to choose which family planning method to use, hence, the availability of all range of contraception – natural or artificial – but medically safe;
2. The right of adolescents to age-appropriate sexuality and reproductive health education;
3. The continuation of program on the prevention and management of post-abortion complications, and humane medical treatment of women who have risked unsafe abortion; and
4. The fund allocation to free reproductive health care services and commodities for the poor, especially women and adolescents.

6 August 2012
Partido ng Manggagawa
Contact Judy Ann Miranda @ 09175570777

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[Press Release] ASEAN: End discrimination against women to improve maternal health

ASEAN must take urgent action if all of its member states are to meet targets under the Millenium Development Goal (MDG) for addressing poor sexual and reproductive health for women and girls, Amnesty International said today in a new briefing paper.

The publication Making the fair choice: Key steps to improve maternal health in ASEAN, based on case studies in Indonesia and the Philippines, comes as ASEAN’s Intergovernmental Human Rights Commission meets in Manila to discuss how to improve maternal health in the 10-nation region.

“It is very disappointing that some ASEAN countries are at risk of failing to meet pledges on maternal mortality which they committed to just a year ago,” said Aurora Parong, Director of Amnesty International Philippines.

“This is an opportunity for ASEAN to ensure none of its member states lag behind where women’s lives are concerned. Globally, one of the clearest manifestations of discrimination against women and girls is the high number of preventable maternal deaths.”

Amnesty International called on ASEAN states to remove barriers to women and girls’ sexual and reproductive health which put their lives at risk, in particular discriminatory laws and policies, and attitudes and practices amongst health workers.

In 2010, ASEAN states pledged to provide improved access to sexual and reproductive health services and safe family planning methods.

The Philippines is unlikely to meet its MDG target of reducing maternal mortality from 94 to 52 per 100,000 live births by 2015. Access to contraception is limited, and “natural”, unreliable family planning methods, including withdrawal, are publicly encouraged over other methods.

For every 100,000 live births in Indonesia, 228 women lose their lives. The Indonesian government admitted in 2010 that it would not achieve its MDG target of reducing maternal mortality to 102 deaths per 100,000 live births by 2015.

In Indonesia, access to sexual and reproductive health services is severely restricted in law and practice. Many contraceptive procedures or treatments require a husband’s permission, which denies access for unmarried women and girls’ altogether, and restricts it for married ones.

Abortion is criminalized in most cases in Indonesia and in all circumstances in the Philippines.

“It is appalling that women face so many obstacles to exercising their rights. Limiting access to contraception leads to unwanted pregnancies and contributes to tens of thousands of cases of clandestine and unsafe abortions, which pose the gravest risk to women’s health,” said Aurora Parong.

The Philippine government is currently discussing a Reproductive Health bill, first tabled in 1999, which aims to improve information and access to sexual, reproductive and maternal health services. It also commits to prioritising access to healthcare for women and children living in poverty.

“The time for talk and empty policy declarations is over. Countries across ASEAN must commit to not only enacting, but implementing legislation.” said Aurora Parong.

“They must review discriminatory laws and policies, and educate health workers and communities to effect a change in attitudes towards women and girls.
Only then can we begin to see real improvement in maternal mortality rates and in women’s sexual and reproductive health across ASEAN.”


Making the fair choice: Key steps to improve maternal health in ASEAN is a briefing based on Amnesty International’s research as part of a worldwide campaign to Demand Dignity, within which maternal health and sexual and reproductive rights of women and girls feature prominently.

In 2010, Amnesty International published the report Left without a choice: Barriers to reproductive health in Indonesia. The report highlights multiple barriers faced by women and girls to enjoying their sexual and reproductive rights in Indonesia.

For comment please contact our spokespeople:

In the Philippines:
Director of Amnesty International Philippines, Aurora Parong on 00 63 917 529 9953

In Malaysia:
Amnesty International’s Indonesia Campaigner Josef Benedict 00 6010 437 6376

In London:
Senior Research Adviser, Isabelle Arradon on 00 44 780 489 1637

Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei desk
Amnesty International Secretariat
1 Easton Street, London WC1X 0DW, UK
Tel.   +44 (0) 207 413 5696  – Fax:  +44 (0) 207 413 5722

[From the web] Why I support the Reproductive Health Bill? – www.magph.org

Why I support the Reproductive Health Bill?

I made this note as a mother, a wife, a doctor and a Roman Catholic. And I strongly support the Reproductive Health Bill or simply the RH Bill. The provisions in the Reproductive Health Bill would also support the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to improve maternal health and reduce maternal mortality and infant mortality rate.

Seated in the comfort of my office, a patient came in for consultation. As I was asking questions regarding the reasons of her visit, the patient told me that, “Doc. I missed my menses for 6 days, unsa may maayo nga tambal para padugo (what medication should I take to induced menstruation)?”

Having heard this, I asked, did you take a pregnancy test? She answered in the affirmative: “pero Doc. Dili pa man ni bata, dugo pa man ni (but Doc, this is not yet a baby, this is still blood).” Among the reasons of the women want to have an abortion who are in the same situation as my patient are purely economic reasons and some are very close in birth spacing in which the parents are not yet ready for another child.

As a daughter of devout Catholic parents of which my late mother is a Family Life Apostolate lecturer, the idea of being an accomplice in the conduct of abortion is a horrible act to do. I usually tell the women to please let the pregnancy push through then after this we will discuss measures on how to prevent another unwanted pregnancy.

As what former Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Esperanza I. Cabral said, 560,000 to 858,000 had illegal abortion. Based on the statistics, it is said that 2,000,000 pregnancies are unwanted and 11 maternal deaths. These glaring numbers could be reduced by 1/3 if when massive information, education and campaign on family planning will be given priority.

The Reproductive Health Bill has been once again the center of debate and public discourse. The RH Bill, as stated in its introduction, guarantees universal access to methods of birth control and maternal care. The two consolidated versions of the RH Bill i.e. House Bill No. 4244 and Senate Bill No. 2865 are now pending in the plenary debate in Congress.

Verses in Luke 11:5-13 says: “Which of your fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?” And if your child asks for an egg, will you give a scorpion? Even you evil people know how to give gifts to your children, how much more then will the father in heaven give Holy Spirit to those who asked him!

It is our obligation, as parents, to provide good nutrition, proper education, a suitable home and genuine love to our children. It is not enough that we will give them life but if should be a life worth living. We might not give them everything they want but we give them the essential things they need. For how you provide them enough food or shelter if your finances are scarce and much more if you have a big family? I hope that I will not be excommunicated if I say that “if the prophet and the Messiah are to live today, they will surely not say “Go to the world and multiply”. Before, there are vast hectares of lands and resources to share but now, there are a lot of people with diminution of resources. Some teachings in my opinion change with time.

Being a mother, with three beautiful daughters aged 9-10 and 12 years old respectively, I welcome the idea that family planning will be thought to school children beginning Grade V to secondary education. This will give them the idea and information of their sexuality and how to preserve it. We, as parents, do not have adequate time to teach our children this because we too are both earning for a living. However, value formation should be given much attention.

Family planning whether natural or artificial has the same goal, that is, not to let the sperm and egg meets so that fertilization will not take place. But being married, one of the most enjoyable things to do is too have a sexually-gratifying relationship without thinking of having an unwanted baby. “A baby is a God-given gift so that he/she therefore should be loved, wanted, cared for without restraint.”

I am therefore supporting the vision which the RH Bill introduces that “every pregnancy be wanted that it would culminate to a healthy baby without compromising the health of the mother.”

Evangeline Revilla, MD
Municipal Health Officer
Maramag, Bukidnon
June 28, 2011

[From the web] The right to live a life of human dignity (CHR on RH Bill) – www.chr.gov.ph

13 May 2011

Good afternoon.

The past few weeks made us witnesses to impassioned debates surrounding the Reproductive Health Bill, with one side of the bench labeling itself as pro-choice and the other, pro-life. Controversial social legislations such as this generate heated public attention and for good reason – it opens up a democratic space for the public to participate in the creative process of legislation. Unfortunately, the cacophony of opposing positions and disparate opinions seems to have drowned out focus on what the issue is really about: THE RIGHT TO LIVE A LIFE OF HUMAN DIGNITY.

More than morality and anti-poverty, Reproductive Health is foremost about Human Rights. Reproductive Health is about the right of every person – regardless of sex, gender, age, social status, political or religious conviction – to the highest attainable standard of health. It is about the right of the woman to know how to take care of herself, take full control of her body and make life-changing decisions. It is about the right of everyone to information and the right to an informed choice on whether or not one wants to bring a new life into the world. It is about the right of the woman, the man and the child to live a life free from threats of diseases, hunger and want. It other words, Reproductive Health is about every single person having a shot at a life worthy of a human being. All these are human rights which the government of the Philippines is obligated to respect, protect, fulfill and promote under our Constitution and the various international treaties we signed and ratified.

The Commission on Human Rights, as the Gender Ombud under R.A. 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women, shall issue a comprehensive advisory on Reproductive Health in the next few days. In the meantime, may we enjoin the public to be guided by reason and not be overwhelmed by inordinate passion. After all, we are actually on the same side when we say that we are anti-abortion, anti-corruption, anti-poverty, pro-life and pro-choice.

Commission on Human Rights

[In the news] Iglesia ni Cristo, other religious groups favor RH bill – Nation – GMA News Online – Latest Philippine News

Iglesia ni Cristo, other religious groups favor RH bill – Nation – GMA News Online – Latest Philippine News.


Unlike the Catholic Church, the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) has expressed support for the highly controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill.

“We are ready to support the bills on Reproductive Health as long as there would be no immoral elements in them,” INC executive minister Eduardo Manalo said in a letter dated October 12, 2010 to Rep. Rogelio Espina, chairman of the House committee on population and family relations.

This is the first time the INC has expressed its stand on the issue.

Manalo’s letter to Espina was likewise made public only this April. It was revealed to the media by Bishop Rodrigo Tano, chairman of the Interfaith Partnership for the Promotion of Responsible Parenthoood (IPPRP), during a weekly forum at the Diamond Hotel on Monday.

Manalo explained that they are supporting the bill because it is the “moral imperative” for parents to watch over their children and provide them with food, shelter, clothing, proper education, religious, and moral training.

Read full article @ GMAnews.tv (link above)

[From the web] President Aquino’s stand on responsible parenthood – www.gov.ph

The five-point position on responsible parenthood of President Benigno S. Aquino III:

1. I am against abortion.

2. I am in favor of giving couples the right to choose how best to manage their families so that in the end, their welfare and that of their children are best served.

3. The State must respect each individual’s right to follow his or her conscience and religious convictions on matters and issues pertaining to the unity of the family and the sacredness of human life from conception to natural death.

4. In a situation where couples, especially the poor and disadvantaged ones, are in no position to make an informed judgment, the State has the responsibility to so provide.

5. In the range of options and information provided to couples, natural family planning and modern methods shall be presented as equally available.

Posted April 18, 2011

Reference: Press briefing with Secretary Lacierda after the meeting between the CBCP and members of the Cabinet, November 19, 2010