How banning abortion in the Philippines kills three women a day

    In a country where more than 65% of women don’t use contraceptives and terminating pregnancy is illegal, ‘torturous’ practices are often the only option

    By wagatwe | 10 July 2017
    Daily Kos

    More than 80% of the population are Catholic and the church holds tremendous sway. (Screenshot via The Guardian)

    If we want to see what an America run by Republicans looks like for women, just take a look at the Philippines. Their conservative government has been heavily influenced by powerful religious groups who’ve worked hard to limit reproductive rights.

    The results are devastating. A lack of comprehensive sex education fuels common misconceptions about contraception and its side effects. And with a blanket ban on abortion in effect, women often turn to dangerous, illegal methods to induce abortion. The Guardian reports about 610,000 abortions occur each year:

    As well as the herbs and medicines on offer at Quiapo, women who want to end unplanned pregnancies have their stomachs massaged hard every day for a week, in the hope of inducing abortion.

    “It is horrific. It is tantamount to torture,” says Parcon. “Unsafe abortion is torturous to women, especially the massage kind, because it is so painful.”

    Others resort to barbaric methods such as inserting barbecue sticks or coathangers into their womb, or throwing themselves down the stairs. Three women die every day from post-abortion complications in the Philippines.

    This is why banning abortion is so dangerous. Making it illegal doesn’t eliminate abortion—it just makes them incredibly unsafe. The work to try and advance reproductive rights in the Philippines now has a significant disadvantage thanks to Trump reinstating the “global gag rule” banning US funding for international organizations who support abortion rights or even discuss it as an option. Just more facts to add to the pile of evidence showing that there’s nothing “pro-life” about restricting abortion access.

    At 11 years old, they’re getting pregnant’: the women smashing Catholic taboos in the Philippines

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