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Monday, October 15, 2007

Abortions declining, but probably not in RP

hey Congress, we hope you know the stats. Pass the RH bill into a law. Otherwise, incidents of abortion will keep rising. People can't unlearn sex, either consciously or subconsciously. It's "human nature", which is part of God's creation.

It is when you look the other way that you actually put the lives of women, babies and mother's at risk. Clearly, the omission to address the issue through concrete policies and measures is what constitutes the "culture of death".
By Beverly T. Natividad
Inquirer, Inquirer wires
Last updated 04:55am (Mla time) 10/14/2007

MANILA, Philippines -- Abortions worldwide are on the decline, according to two international studies released yesterday. But the good news may not apply to countries like the Philippines where abortion is illegal and birth control is not so widely available.

According to studies by the Guttmacher Institute and the World Health Organization (WHO) the decline in abortions—from 46 million in 1995 to under 42 million in 2003—was felt most significantly in Eastern Europe because of increased use of birth control methods. Western Europe in 2003 had the lowest abortion rate in the world at 12 per 1,000.

There was practically no change in the rate of unsafe or illegal abortions, nearly half of which are performed in Asia and Africa.

“The continuing high incidence of unsafe abortion in developing countries represents a public health crisis and a human rights atrocity,” said Beth Fredrick of the International Women’s Health Coalition in the US, in an accompanying commentary.

“The legal status of abortion has never dissuaded women and couples, who, for whatever reason, seek to end pregnancy,” said Fredrick.

About 70,000 women die every year from unsafe abortions. Another 5 million women suffer permanent or temporary damage.

In the Philippines, the Department of Health (DOH) has no specific data on abortion incidences because it is illegal and unreported.

Yolly Oliveros, director of the DOH’s National Center for Disease Prevention and Control, said in an interview that it is hard to verify for now if the Philippines reflects the declining incidence of abortion worldwide.

In its website, Pro-Life Philippines said that a research by the University of the Philippines Population Institute in Metro Manila estimates that about 17 percent of Filipino women undergo an induced abortion.

The UP research also said that every year, as much as 750,000 women undergo induced abortion in illegal clinics in the country.

The powerful Catholic Church is leading the prolife campaign in the Philippines against the use of artificial birth control methods and the legalization of abortion.

Pro-Life’s national coordinator, Sister Pilar Versoza, told the Inquirer that they consider the use of pills, intra-uterine devices (IUDs), and emergency and oral contraceptives as “abortifacients” or nonsurgical forms of abortion, and expressed concern that the use of such methods was on the rise.

The real problem that needs to be resolved, she said, is the mentality that people can have sex and not have a baby.

Meanwhile, Dr. Sharon Camp, president and chief executive of the Guttmacher Institute said in a statement that the global study on abortion confirms that the best way to make abortion less necessary is to help women avoid unwanted pregnancies.

The study said that about a third of the world’s 205 million yearly pregnancies are unintended, and 20 percent of these end in induced abortion.

The downward trend in abortions was happening “too slowly and too unevenly across different regions,” the studies said.

“It’s high time for policymakers worldwide to renew their commitment to women’s health by addressing these crucial issues,” said Camp.