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Advocacy Group Opposes Legalization of "Abortion Bill"

MANILA, PHILIPPINES: The Philippine NGO Council on Population, Health and Welfare Inc. (PNGOC) is opposing the legalization of abortion in the country.

PNGOC an umbrella organization of 95 NGOs believes that abortion is not the right approach in addressing the problem.

Dr. Eden Divinagracia, executive director of PNGOC is calling on legislators to prioritize and pass the Reproductive Health Bill. Having a National Reproductive Health Bill is one step forward in lessening the incidence of abortions in the country.

Dr. Divinagracia cited data from the 2009 UNICEF report that shows a Filipina mother has a one in 140 chance of dying while delivering a child; this translates to around 11 mothers dying every day or 4,500 a year due to pregnancy and childbirth complications. Also, it said about half of the deaths of Filipino children under the age of five happen within the first four weeks of their lives.

Dr. Divinagracia added that because of having NO LAW on Reproductive Health, an estimated 560,000 induced abortions took place in the Philippines; 90,000 women sought treatment for complications and 1,000 women died. (Data from the report of Center for Reproductive Rights entitled, “Forsaken Lives: The Harmful Impact of the Philippine Criminal Abortion Ban”).

"Abortion can be prevented upon the availability of full range of family planning services and information which we are fighting for trough the passage of a National Reproductive Health Bill," said the group.

PNGOC said that they will continue to promote to all its networks of NGOs, partner organizations and communities nationwide to support for a Reproductive Health Care Act as we believe that this policy will provide stability of programs, regardless of who sits as president, Cabinet or Local Government official.

For more information on PNGOC and their advocacy you can contact them at the address below:

Dr. Eden Divinagracia, Executive Director
Philippine NGO Council on Population, Health and Welfare, Inc.
Tel Nos. 852-1898; 833-4067

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