The Deadly Impact of the Philippines Abortion Ban (VIDEO)

A new video and report from the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) illustrate the devastating consequences of the criminal abortion ban in the Philippines, one of the only countries where abortion is illegal in all cases with no clear exceptions.  Their report shows that the ban has not reduced the incidence of abortion, just made it unsafe and, in many cases, deadly.

A video from the CRR poignantly illustrates the lengths to which women will go to terminate their pregnancies.  Tens of thousands of illegal procedures go awry, sending women into the hospital, where they are often abused by doctors and nurses:

The report is, if possible, even more chilling.  The Filipino women who resort to abortion do so because of poverty, because of rape or incest, or simply out of a desire to control their own fertility, a fundamental human right.  But the methods that are available to them are limited and dangerous. 

These methods include, according to the report, “painful abdominal massages by traditional midwives, inserting a catheter into the uterus, medically unsupervised consumption of Cytotec (the local brand name for a drug containing misoprostol) to induce uterine contractions, and ingestion of herbs and other concoctions sold by street vendors.

“Common physical complications,” the report goes on, “caused by these methods include hemorrhage, sepsis, perforation of the uterus, damage to other internal organs, and death.”

Horrifying, right?  And it’s a little easier to understand how, in 2008, 1,000 Filipino women died following complications from an abortion.  To make matters worse, contraceptives and information about family planning are scarce, resulting in an estimated 1.9 million unplanned pregnancies per year (again, using statistics from 2008).  These unplanned pregnancies lead women straight to the risky abortion methods that, in some cases, are deadly.

The CRR has a wealth of information about this issue on their site, and I encourage you to explore for yourself.  It’s terrifying to realize that a human rights and public health crisis of this magnitude is moving forward unchecked.  And if nothing else, this tragic example illustrates the need for safe, legal and accessible abortion worldwide.

Photo from Flickr.


Laura Saxon
.4 years ago

That's terrible! Those women shouldn't have to use methods like that.

Elizabeth L.
Elizabeth L5 years ago

Roberta how about some added statistics. One woman in the world dies every 7 minutes because of illegal abortions. You are 14 times more likely to die from childbirth in the USA than legal abortion. 88% - 91% of all abortions done in the USA are done in the 1st trimester. Only 1.3% of abortions are performed after 21 weeks which is the death by abortion figures you used
Again "lies, damned lies and Statistics"
Don't like abortions don't have one.

Lori Homayon-jones

grey how many unwanted babies from the phillipines have you adopted or sponsored?

Neil A.
Neil A6 years ago

Grey M. you sound rather bitter twisted & uncaring no wonder you have no friends, you make statements where you do not know the desperate circumstances may be these women often have been raped or otherwise forced into having sex. JinkyHepburn P. your attitude is pretty yuckie. Old men in the RC church who PREY (not pray) on poor people & the irresponsible young men who cause the pregnancies( castrate convicted rapists) REPUGS ARE JUST VILE & STUPID in so many cases.

Grey M.
Grey M.6 years ago very stupidly let someone stick a rod into your uterus in a back alley someplace, and then get sick....what a surprise...then you make your way to a hospital and expect the to make you all better...then you whine when people are not nice to you....because you deserve compassion? That nurse was correct when she told the woman to wait her turn, and that if she dies waiting it would be her " own fault".
You do something supremely stupid, and think everyone should be nice to you and make you all better.
I can't feel sorry for ANYONE who is stupid enough to have a coat hanger abortion...I put them in a category I call " Too stupid to live". If the abortion does not kill them they will find some other stupid unintentional way to die at their own hands.

Roberta C.
Roberta C6 years ago

and in American where abortion is legal. Rates of death of women who have an abortion:
One out of every 6,000 women who have an abortion after 21 weeks gestation die.
One out of every 166,000 abortions ends in death.
Just under one out of every 100 abortions has a serious complication
[Source: AGI, 1998. Note: These figures may be low due to under-reporting of deaths due to abortions.]
This isn't about women's rights, this is about big business of abortion pushing it on the public as necessary to gain funding. In the Phillipines, where i have relatives, it is very rare for a women to choose abortion, and if she does, she goes to a "witch doctor" usually. The Christian church is trying to educate women, Planned Parenthood is trying to use them.

Phil Smith
Phil Smith6 years ago

You're mixing Apples and Oranges here!!! "The Philippines is NOT about Abortion" ~~ They are about basic Human Rights!! The Men there treat their women as property and less than their animals.. Until THAT changes ,, Why make this an issue??
Try getting their men to accept their women as human beings , With feelings and emotions first!!!
Most of the sexual encounters that happen there are most likely rape or out of fear...

Francine P.
Francine P7 years ago

Every woman has the right to decide if she will carry a pregnancy or not. All I wish is that the decision is well thought out.
If you are against abortion then you should offer support to women who can't keep the child instead of berating them.

Shelly G.
Past Member 7 years ago

I believe women have the right to choose whether to carry a child or not. It is our body going thru the changes and the pain of delivery, no one elses.

Mike N.
Mike N7 years ago

It is the woman's body. It belongs to her NOT the government and NOT you!! Stop trying to tell women what to do with their bodies and their fetuses. It's THEIR choice; NOT YOURS!!!! Let them deal with God in the end.