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By: Christine G. dela Cruz

Abortion is the expulsion of a living fetus
from the mothers womb before it is
Dr. Andre E. Hellegers
- Defined abortion as termination of
pregnancy spontaneously or by induction
prior to viability. Thereafter, termination of
pregnancy is called delivery.


Economic Cost
Family Planning
Rape incest
Societys moralism

Historical Background:
In ancient Greece, Plato and Aristotle
recommended abortion in order to avoid
excess population in the small Greek city
Article II, Section 12 of the 1986 Philippine
- The state recognizes the sanctity of life
and shall protect and strengthen the
family as a basic autonomous social
institution. It shall equally protect the life
of the mother and the life of the unborn

Revised Penal Code of the Philippines

(enacted in 1930 and remains in effect
-Articles 256, 258 and 259 of the Code
mandate imprisonment for the woman
who undergoes the abortion, as well as for
any person who assists in the procedure,
even if they be the woman's parents, a
physician or midwife.

Practices in the Philippines:

Folk Medicine
Hilots are usually rural or small-town
individuals who come from a long line of
local chiropractors.Hilotshave basic
knowledge of Filipino herbology, just like
thealbularyos, and use various pre-natal
and post-natal techniques such assuob.
Traditionally, infants who were delivered
by ahilotusually undergo pagbubuhos,
wherein the midwife immerses the baby in

Although ahilotis required to register

herself annually at the local municipal hall,
this is not strictly enforced. This is because
anyone can help deliver a baby as long as
they have the knowledge of postpartum
care and massage.
Another source of folk abortifacients are
the vendors of abortion drugs made from
herbs, such as those sold in the vicinity
ofQuiapo Church.

Abortion surgeries are uncommon in the
Philippines due to the public's view of
morality. However, many hospitals and
medical centers can perform post-abortion
care for mothers with very few

Modern Medicine
Abortion drugs such as Misoprostol
(Cytotec), Methotrexate, Mifeprex (or
RU486) and Mifepristone are also used as
an alternative to folk medicine. This is
because many women believe that other
drugs are unsafe to ingest. However, since
these pills are only available under
prescription, it is illegal for pharmacists to
distribute the drug without the permission
of the mother's physician. This method is
usually used by women whose lives are
endangered by pregnancy.

3 General viewpoints of
1. The conservative
2. The liberal
3. The moderate or intermediate

The Conservative position.

- It declares that abortion is never
permissible, or at most, is permissible if
and only it is required to save the
pregnant womans life, as in the case of
the removal of a cancerous uterus or the
removal of the fallopian tube, or a part of
it, because of ectopic pregnancy.

The Liberal position.

- States that abortion is always permissible,
whatever the state of fetal development
may be. If women are truly to be liberated,
this view contends, they must ultimately
have full freedom to control their own
reproductive capacities.
- A woman has the right to control her own
body as her personal property within the
context of the right of self-determination.

The fetus has no ontological status; it is

neither an individual, human, nor a
person, but only a tissue in a womans
uterus; therefore, it possesses no rights
and no moral status.
-- the liberals

The Moderate position.

- It holds that abortion is morally
permissible up to certain stage of fetal
development, or for some limited set of
reasons sufficient to justify the taking of
life in this or that special circumstances.
As far as the moderates are concerned,
the fetus attains ontological status at
quickening or viability. Fetuses have only
some rights and, therefore, have a partial
status. In this regard, abortion before
quickening is morally legitimate.

Methods of Abortion:
Plants and plant
preparations,e.g.,Makabuhay, Essencia
- Many of these plants probably do induce
contractions of smooth muscles, such as
those in the uterus. Sometimes, people
think the plants work because their
menstruation returns. In reality, the
menstruation was probably only delayed.

Physical methods.
- Massage and abdominal pressure are
applied by the hilot, or sometimes by the
pregnant woman herself. This is a terrible
painful method and is dangerous,
especially in more advance pregnancies.
The physical pressure is used to induce
uterine contractions but these may not be
enough to expel the fetus.
Insertion of catheters (sonda).
-Women have been known to insert
hangers, brooms, walis tingting. These
often lead to infections.

Dilation and currettage (D&C or

- Usually, this is done with women who
had already began the abortion, in which
case it is called completion curettage.
There are, however, clandestine clinics
that use D&C to induce an abortion.

Menstrual regulation (MR).

- This involves the use of suction or
vacuum aspiration to terminate a very
early pregnancy (usually the first few
- A powerful suction tube with a sharp
cutting edge is inserted into the womb
through the dilated cervix. The suction
dismembers the body of the developing
baby and tears the placenta from the wall
of the uterus, sucking blood, amniotic
fluid, placental tissue, and fetal parts into
a collection bottle.

- There are many western drugs that
people use to attempt to induce an
abortion. These include medicines such as
quinine, an anti-malarial;
methylergometrin, a uterine stimulant and
methotrexate, an anti-cancer drug. With
some of these drugs, an abortion is
actually a side effect. In other cases, the
western medicine used may even have the
opposite effect on a pregnancy.

- Bricanyl (generic name: terbutaline) is

perceived as an abortifacient in large
doses but in reality, the drug actually
delays labor rather than inducing an
-One widely used drug, misoprostol
(Cytotec) is actually a drug used to
prevent ulcers but has abortion as a side
- Another drug called RU486 (Mifepristone)
is now legal in China and a few European

Salt Poisoning.
- Is used after 16 weeks of pregnancy,
when enough fluid has accumulated in the
amniotic fluid sac surrounding the baby. A
needle is inserted through the mothers
abdomen and 50-250 ml of amniotic fluid
is withdrawn and replaced with a solution
of concentrated salt. The chemical solution
also causes painful burning and
deterioration of the babys skin. The baby
breathes in, swallowing the salt, and is
poisoned. Usually, after about an hour, the
child dies. The mother goes into labor
about 33 to 35 hours after and delivers a

- Similar to the Caesarean Section, this is
used if chemical methods such as salt
poisoning or prostaglandins fail . Incisions
are made in the abdomen and uterus.
The baby, placenta, and amniotic sac are
removed. Babies are sometimes born alive
during this procedure, raising questions as
to how and when these infants are killed
and by whom.

Types of Abortion:
Natural Abortion/Spontaneous or
Accidental Abortion.
- Also known as miscarriage (nakunan).
- The expulsion of the fetus through natural or
accidental causes.

Direct or Intentional Abortion

- Deliberately induced expulsion of a living fetus
before it has become viable.

Therapeutic Abortion
- Deliberately induced expulsion of a living fetus
in order to save the mother from the danger of
death brought on by pregnancy.

Eugenic Abortion/Selective Abortion

or Abortion on fetal indications
- This is recommended in cases where certain
defects are discovered in the developing fetus.
- It is termed eugenic because it is meant to get
rid of abnormal babies, and thus prevent them
from contaminating the human species.

Indirect Abortion
- The removal of the fetus occurs as a secondary
effect of a legitimate or licit action, which is direct
and primary object of the intention.

Effects of Abortion:
Physical Effects

Habitual miscarriages
- Fever
Ectopic pregnancies
- Cold sweat
Menstrual disturbances
- intense pain
- Loss of other organs
- Insomnia
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
perforated uterus
- Frigidity

Psychological Effects
- Guilt
- Helplessness
- Suicidal tendencies
- Loss of interest in sex
- Loss of sense of fulfillment
- Inability to forgive
- Mourning
- Nightmares and
- Loss of confidence
- Lower self-esteem
- thwarted maternal
- Hostility
- intense interest in
- Self- destructive behavior
- Anger
- Rage

If you prick us do we not bleed, if you

tickle us do we not laugh, if you poison us
do we not die
- Shakespeare the Merchant of Venice
"A person is a person, no matter how
-Dr. Seuss