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Before I left Dumaguete City, a friend confided in me that she helped a friend get an abortion in Valencia. First thing I want to say, I am against abortion. I respect the sanctity of life; all life. I do not kill anything, if I can avoid it. Second, I would never avail myself of abortion services or support killing a baby under any circumstances. I might kill a rapist, but I would never kill a baby. 

Over the years I have been in the Philippines, I have been the unwilling aural witness to four abortions. One woman, despite being married to a well educated man, had no clue how to prevent unwanted pregnancy. When she attempted to get an abortion, she came within minutes of dying from septic poisoning.  Each year over 1,000 women and their babies die getting illegal abortions. Those are the ones we know about, many more die unreported. One out of every three Filipinas between the ages of 15 to 44 has had an abortion. The average abortion cost around P 15,000 pesos, consequently most of the botched abortions are performed on poor Filipinas. I know one poor Filipino family that has 12 children and they can not feed them. The question becomes abortion or slow starvation and no future for everyone.

I wont get involved in the religious aspects of this tragedy because I am not qualified, but 90% of those seeking abortion are Catholic. What is the churches responsibility in this growing tragedy? Obviously whatever they are doing is not working.  What is the responsibility of the parents in this national tragedy? Obviously telling their children to wait until they are married is not working either? Over 60% of the births in the Philippines are to unwed mothers. What are we teaching our young men? Over 45% of all Filipina’s first sexual experience is against their will; rape ! Where have our Filipino values gone? Can anyone spell “chaperone” ? Where are the traditional Filipino values? Children are having children. Children are dying.

What can we do? How do we stop this tragedy? First we can call upon the government to implement the RH Law and promote responsible parenthood. For those that oppose these laws on religious grounds; feeling it promotes promiscuity, I ask, which is better promiscuity or death. The penalty for saying “yes” when you should of said “no” should not be death. Lets educate our children in how to prevent unwanted pregnancy, not to mention how to recognize and avoid sexually transmitted diseases. Lets teach our young men to once again honor women not exploit them or rape them. Let get our underage children off the streets and into the church and home. Lets recover some of those traditional Flipino values and stop the violation of our women and the abuse of our children.

Nothing will be done unless YOU do it…