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Women's rights orgs urge authorities to decriminalize abortion

Women's rights organizations urged legislators to decriminalize abortion as women continue to die from unsafe abortion complications.

In a media workshop on Tuesday, EnGendeRights executive director Atty. Claire Padilla said that the restrictive 1930 Revised Penal Code abortion law has not stopped the number of women from inducing abortion but has only endangered lives of hundreds of women who undergo unsafe abortions due to several personal reasons.

According to Marevic Parcon of Women's Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR), there is still a lot to be done to break the stigma when it comes to abortion.

"It's a medical procedure. This is where we stand... It's a medical procedure. Women and those who can get pregnant should be able to access," she said.

Padilla said that some women undergo abortion because of economic reasons, some because they're under 25 years old and is too young, others because of medical conditions, and some because they are rape survivors.

She added that at least three women in the Philippines die every day from unsafe abortion complications.

Because of the criminalization of abortion, women are at times denied access to post-abortion care, threatened with prosecution and even bleed to death or suffer from a disability.

She said women have a lack of access to information on pregnancy risks and to services.

Despite these, some legislators are still against the decriminalization bill proposed by the organizations. Some, Padilla said, even want to increase the penalty for those who will undergo abortion.

Fortunately, she shared, there has been support from the younger generation.

"We've been seeing grounds of support from the young people so this is a good plus. We have had a lot of interviews and I cannot count them anymore from students who are doing thesis on this issue, on the decriminalization of abortion," the lawyer said.

—MGP, GMA News

Tags: Abortion