Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Abortion suffering and death in the Philippines: time for the Catholic Church to own up

Yet again, a beholdenness to religious edict -- specifically the stand of the Medievally powerful Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines -- is at the centre of a heated debate between the forces of progress and the Forces of Primitivism. What is in effect a "total ban" on all forms of abortion in the Philippines is resulting in a nightmarish world of death, suffering, and despair for many poor Filipinos -- the very people whose welfare the Catholic Church presumes itself to be the guardian of.

Not surprisingly, despite all these words of discouragement from legal and religious circles, abortions are still peformed in the Philippines -- 560,000 women are estimated to have udergone the procedure in 2008. And because they are performed outside the framework of the Law, the landscape of suffering and grief is nothing short of hideous. An Associated Press report reveals grim statistics.

Every year...

- 90,000 women suffer from abortion-related complications; and,
- 1,000 die as a result of these complications.

What is not so clearly highlighted is how a lack of a stable framework for reproductive health -- another initiative held back by the dogma of the Catholic Taliban -- further aggravates abortion-related suffering. According to a New York Times report citing a study released by the Center for Reproductive Rights, based in New York ...
[...] most of the [Filipino] women interviewed by the center "had resorted to abortion more than once, and they had tried more than one risky method each time."

These women had undergone abortion procedures more than once. It means that one of the roots of the problem of abortion-related suffering and death is a lack of options to control pregnancies to begin with. In effect, many Filipino women are using abortion as a birth control method...
Apart from outlawing abortion, the Philippines proves inadequate in providing access to contraceptives, thus forcing women to turn to unsafe abortion, the center said. In some instances, local leaders, fearful of possible backlash from the Catholic Church, have disallowed the distribution of condoms and pills, among other contraception methods, by public health clinics.

Added to the cauldron of Filipino grief and death is the perverted morality -- also imparted by Catholic dogma -- exhibited in the self-righteousness of Filipino public healthcare workers...
the [same] study says, and "despite the fact that post-abortion care is legal, women who seek treatment for complications arising from illegal and unsafe abortions are often viewed as criminals and denied compassionate and lifesaving care."

It cites cases of women seeking post-abortion care being harassed, intimidated and abused. In some instances, the study says, doctors and nurses have even threatened to report these women to the police. In extreme cases, doctors deliberately delayed caring for such patients "in order to teach them a lesson."

This is all happening in a country that sees its being "the only predominantly Catholic country in East Asia" as a badge of specialness and blessedness.

4 comments:

  1. Can you possibly put up something constructive than plain bad commentaries?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Maybe you can help me out a bit here and start by providing some suggestions.

    ReplyDelete
  3. this the philippines we're talking about, what is there besides bad commentaries? even the things we're so proud of is just so full of holes you can't help but pick at it...

    ReplyDelete
  4. here's something positive: the ongoing revolutionary taxation in the provinces. money for the militants. a tick on the check list of jose maria sison who's been president of his nation since the '60s. kudos to the league of the filipino students for preparing the studes which makes abortion an issue.

    ReplyDelete

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