In the News 2012
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Abortion and motherhood


What does it mean to be “proabortion”? It means to favor abortion as the primary means of terminating or avoiding a pregnancy, to favor it above contraception, which seeks to prevent and protect against an unwanted or mistimed pregnancy.

So what does Sen. Tito Sotto, whose muddled thinking on reproductive health is getting increasingly irritating, mean when he says that “all” foreign and local reproductive health groups are “proabortion”? Does he mean that all these groups advocate abortion as the only way to prevent pregnancy, counseling women who seek to protect themselves from unwanted or mistimed pregnancies not to worry about contraception but rather simply avail themselves of an abortion when and if they get pregnant?

To make sure Sotto gets what I mean, let me put it this way. When women approach these groups for help or counseling, do they tell the women, “Huwag kang mag-alala. Huwag ka nang mag contraception. Ipalaglag mo na lang ang dinadala mo sa sinapupunan kung mabuntis ka (Don’t worry. There’s no need to use contraception. Just abort your unborn child if you get pregnant)”?

If indeed this is the advice they give, I would be the first to join the condemnation of these groups. But would a group be “proabortion” when it calls for the humane and caring treatment of women who undergo abortion and face complications because of it? Is one “proabortion” when one calls for decriminalization? What does Sotto and his supporters prefer? That these women, bleeding and suffering from infection, be left alone to die as a punishment (which is in fact what has happened to many women)? Or that these women be thrown into jail for being so desperate as to undergo an abortion?

I hope the “good” senator clarifies himself when he introduces his amendments at the Senate on Monday.

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BUT a bigger hope is that the Senate facilitates the passage of the RH bill, which has been passed on second reading at the House.

Of course, the anti-RH camp says it will put up a stiffer fight when the bill comes up for third reading, or shift the battleground to the Senate. But I get the sense that the recalcitrants are waking up and smelling the coffee.
Already, concerned groups here and abroad are hailing the passage of the measure by the House, and the imminent passage by the Senate.

Says Catholics for Choice: “Whether it’s been a show of force … or pointed sermons against reproductive health … the Catholic hierarchy has consistently pressured the faithful in the pews and in Congress to sink the RH legislation. But just as consistently, opinion polls have shown a majority of citizens and Catholics support the government making contraception more available.”

Heed the people’s will! Let’s have an RH measure before we celebrate Christmas and have a truly happy New Year!


This article was originally published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Catholics for Choice