The practice of abortion has been subject to public controversies and debates up until this day, despite being legal in many western liberal countries. The legality of abortion has always been challenged by anti-abortion groups which are mainly comprised of members of religious associations. The Philippine government started criminalizing abortion during the Spanish Colonial Rule, the provisions were then adapted by the Revised Penal Code in 1930 during the American occupation. However, the unconstitutionality of abortion still did not curb the number of Filipinas who resort to it because of various personal reasons. That being said, is today the high time to legalize abortion in the Philippines? Or should it still be prohibited?
- Abortion has been practiced ever since ancient times. Various methods have been used by people to regulate their pregnancies because abortion per se is not only about population control. Simply, abortion is a choice, a decision by a mother to cut her pregnancy because of her personal matters. It is actually pro-life and pro-choice. The issue of the right to life is pre-existing already. Abortion in itself is not only about aborting a zygote or a fetus that is still biologically incapable of their own decisions; more importantly, it is about taking into consideration the future of the baby and the parental and domestic responsibilities that the parents should fulfill.
Saying that abortion is stepping on the right to life can actually be contradictory. Today, what matters most is humanity’s survival. Given our status quo nowadays that is haunted by societal dilemmas, (e.g., economic downturns, alarming inflation), it is an undeniable fact that not all parents can cater to the needs of their children. Imagine yourself conceiving a child, and you are still financially dependent and unstable. What will happen to your child in the future? Domestically, a parent wouldn’t be able to sustain the needs of their children. In fact, this often happens because of unwanted pregnancies.
Additionally, if a parent can’t fulfill their responsibility, it would also become a hindrance to the child’s growth and national contribution unless there is a major state intervention that would alleviate poverty. Imagine a world where children are being deprived of education, clothing, basic necessities, food because they are unwanted in this world; the following would be tantamount to a child just being alive and not living. Not only will the parents suffer, but also the child conceived.
Societal oppression to the constituents will happen. It will only expand the bridge between those privileged children with stable parents to those who are the byproducts of unwanted pregnancies. Bullying might emanate because of their familial constraints. In a structural-functionalist perspective, they will be the targets of rebels and will be leaders of societal defiance. Even if abortion is biblically wrong, it is still sociologically, economically, futuristically, and domestically justifiable because of the aforementioned.
- Moreover, women are also at a disadvantageous side. In this patriarchal society, women facing unwanted and early pregnancies are slut-shamed unless they belong to a powerful family. Women will be labeled as “pokpok” which is derogatory. It will hinder her welfare as a woman and her societal contribution. She has the right to choose because at the end of the day she is the one carrying the child. The zygote still does not have the intellectual capacity at that time, only the parents. It is not limiting the right to life of the child, it is thinking about what’s best for the baby to live and survive an abundant life.
In the Philippines, there are approximately three women who die because of unsuccessful abortion. Babies who were still conceived in spite of abortion attempts grieve from congenital diseases. Botched abortions also happen because there are only limited methods that the public can avail. Quiapo Church in Manila is famous for granting miracles to pregnant women, but over the years it has become a place where herbs and certain abortifacients are illicitly sold for unwanted pregnancies. Reality is that more women and children will suffer more in the long run because the practice they do is restricted and unsafe. If and only if abortion is legalized, then it would the pregnancies should have been regulated better.
- Basically, abortion is a termination of one’s pregnancy in which it takes away the potential of the child, the future of the child, what could’ve been the life of the child. It is infringing the inherent right to life of a human which is morally wrong and unconstitutional under Philippine laws. It devalues life in a way that it promotes a culture wherein life becomes disposable when it is inconvenient and burdensome. Also, the accountability and responsibility of the parents and the perception of people about life are reduced in a way that abortion inculcates in their minds that children’s lives can just be thrown away when it is undesirable.
- The issue about unwanted and early pregnancies being the main reason for abortion is rooted in excessive promiscuity, lack of proper sex education, and limited access to contraceptives, and financial sustenance. Abortion is not the solution for this predicament, Reproductive Health, Family Planning, and Sex Education are. Imagine the Philippines as a place where everyone is sex-positive, and where everyone does not refer sex as a taboo; then everyone would be open and be educated about the practice of safe sex and natural birth control which would decrease the risk of unsolicited pregnancies. If only the society would normalize sex as a natural act that needs to be practiced properly, then couples would not resort to abortion in the first place. Reproductive Health will also grant equal access to contraceptives for sex regulation. If financial support is the problem, then the government should enhance Family Planning programs that would alleviate poverty on unprivileged families.