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Rise of abortion cases feared

Population officials yesterday rang the alarm over the possible increase in the number of abortion cases if the Supreme Court’s (SC’s) temporary restraining order (TRO) on contraceptives would not be lifted.

Commission on Population (POPCOM) executive director Juan Antonio Perez III said there is a strong possibility of seeing a rise in “induced abortions” with the TRO still in place.

“There is a strong possibility of rising induced abortions among Filipino women, who are already faced with increasing numbers of unintended pregnancies,” he said.

“Induced abortion” is the intentional termination of a pregnancy before the fetus can live independently. Spontaneous abortion, on the other hand, is commonly known as miscarriage.

“The increase in unintended pregnancies in the last 18 months has also seen an increase in induced abortions,” Perez noted.

The POPCOM official cited the report of the Guttmacher Institute in the United States which disclosed that abortion is “rampantly” being done in secret in the Philippines.

It revealed that among the reasons for abortion is inability to raise children, fear of side effects from contraceptives, and lack of awareness on family planning.

Guttmacher’s report, Perez further stated, also noted that about 1,000 Filipino women die each year from abortion complications.

“The RH Law is our staunchest defense against induced abortions in the country,” said Perez. To note, the RH law guarantees universal access to contraceptive methods, sexuality education, and maternal and child care.

On the other hand, the law has yet to be fully implemented because of the TRO issued by the SC in June 2015, prohibiting the Food and Drug Administration from granting and renewing the Certificates of Product Registration of contraceptive products. (CHARINA ECHALUCE)