JUNE is back to school, back to repairing desks, cleaning classrooms, and-ideally-educating youths about sex and its consequences. Homes and schools should open mature and sensitive discussions of these concerns as one viable option for protecting teenagers from the illegal, invisible but pervasive scourge of abortion.
No. 4 killer Although abortion is illegal in the country, the Department of Health (DOH) records 400,000 illegal abortions performed annually, with 80,000 of these ending in hospitalizations due to abortion-related complications. In 1994, 12 percent of maternal deaths were due to unsafe abortions, according to the DOH. Due to the law and public rejection, two-thirds of Filipino women resort to self-induced abortion or pay quacks to perform this. “Induced abortion is the fourth leading cause of maternal death in the country,” stresses the first “State of the Philippine Population Report (SPPF)” published by the Commission on Population (Popcom).