Unwanted Pregnancies in the Philippines: The Route to Induced Abortion and Health Consequences
Fatima Juarez, El Colegio de México
Josefina V. Cabigon, University of the Philippines
National estimates indicate that Filipino women increasingly want fewer children than they have and rely heavily on traditional methods (traditional methods increased from 15% in 1993 to 20% in 1998). The use of ineffective contraceptive methods has resulted in a large number of unwanted pregnancies and a rise of the induced abortion rate (from 25 in 1995 to 27 in 2000 per 1000 women 15-44 years). Because abortion is illegal, little is known about abortion seeking behavior. The aim of this paper is to present new national data to document the process women experience in obtaining abortions and assess the level of complications experienced such as common abortion methods and sources, and degree of persistence to obtain an abortion. The survey incorporated various approaches for obtaining abortion data. We expect that results will raise awareness and knowledge among key stakeholders and will stimulate policies and programs to improve prevention of unplanned pregnancy.