PLM on Reproductive Health Issue PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Friday, 08 October 2010 09:55

Partido Lakas ng Masa statement on the reproductive health issue

 

 

No to CBCP hypocrisy!

A modern RH program will save women’s lives!

 

We strongly oppose the campaign by the CBCP against the modernization and improvement of reproductive health in this country. We are especially critical of the CBCP’s scaremongering and murky tactics which are being paraded as ‘moral’ arguments. We simply present the following facts that demonstrate the urgent need for the introduction of a modern reproductive health program that meets international best standards and practice.

 

According to the World Health Organization (2010), the Philippines recorded one of the highest number of maternal deaths in the region – some 2100 women died in 2008 due to pregnancy and childbirth related causes, compared to our neighbors in Thailand with some 470 maternal deaths, Malaysia with 170 maternal deaths, South Korea with 81 maternal deaths and Singapore with 3 maternal deaths.

 

We also have one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the region, at 94 for every 100,000 live births, compared to a rate of 56 in Vietnam, 48 in Thailand, 31 in Malaysia, 18 in South Korea and 9 in Singapore. In other words a woman living in the Philippines is ten times at the risk of dying giving birth compared to a woman living in Singapore.

 

These maternal deaths and high maternal mortality rates are related to the high total fertility rates in the country, ie. the number of children born per woman during her reproductive years. We have the highest total fertility rate in the region – the number of children born per woman is around 3 to 4. Almost one-third of these are unwanted pregnancies. The Philippines fertility rate is higher than world averages (which are around 2 children per woman) and much higher than the rates for our neighbours in Singapore and Hongkong which are at 1 to 2 children per woman. Our total fertility rates are even higher than our much poorer neighbours in Cambodia and Laos, which are around 3 children per woman.

 

Pregnant women still die from four major causes: hemorrhage, infections, hypertensive disorders, and unsafe abortion. And although most of these deaths are preventable, the CBCP bishops should be informed that giving birth is still a dangerous business in our country and that a modern RH system is urgently needed.

 

Child mortality is closely linked to the health and welfare of the mothers. Poor children in this country die at three times the rate of the children of the rich, according to latest UN data. Under-five mortality rates are 66 child deaths to every 1000 live births amongst the poor, compared to 21 child deaths to every 1000 births amongst the rich.

 

Therefore we fully support all measures that move towards the introduction of a modern reproductive health system, which includes the latest modern contraceptive methods such as birth control pills and condoms, to be made free and accessible to poor women and which gives women and mothers a range of choices and educates them about these choices and saves poor mothers and children’s lives in the process.

 

We also believe that the provision of safe and scientific abortion methods are an essential component of a modern reproductive health system. Safe abortion needs to be provided as a choice to women, ranging from cases of pregnancy which are life threatening to the mother, pregnancies resulting from rape and unwanted pregnancies. We believe that  a rational and sober discussion is necessary on the introduction of safe abortion methods drawing from worlds best-practice standards, led by informed and trained medical practitioners, based on scientific medical data.

 

We believe that the above data demonstrates that we have strong moral grounds for our position – saving women’s lives.

 

Support a woman’s right to choose!

No to CBCP hypocrisy and scaremongering!

For modern contraception and RH program now!

 

 

 

 

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