Philippine: Access to Safe Abortion in Restrictive Setting
Women on Web attended the 2nd International Exchange Workshop that was organized by Pinsan (Philippine Safe Abortion Advocacy Network) in Manila on 16—18 August 2018. More than 50 participants from many countries like the Philippines, Indonesia, Ireland, Tanzania, Puerto Rico, and Poland participated in the meeting. Women on Web was represented by Amalia.
The theme of the meeting was "Share, learn, unite".
Share: The participants shares stories from different countries. Some successes. Ireland just voted for Yes! to repeal the 8th of the amendment for abortion law and will have legal abortion services within a few months. Amalia shared information about the work of Women on Web in Indonesia and other countries with restrictive abortion laws. Other continued to struggle to advance abortion rights in Latin America, Poland, Tanzania.
Learn. Even safe abortion advocates sometimes stigmatize the issue unintentionally. We have to question ourselves when we still think abortion is a sensitive issue. As we know, abortion is a normal procedure and can be done safely.
As abortion should not be discussed just among friends in the same room, we visited a community in Barangay Batasan Hills. To start the conversation we all watched a movie titled Motherland—which shows the situation in maternal hospital in Manila. One of the present woman shared that she has 6 children and when she gave birth in the hospital, she has to share the same bed with another woman. Another woman expressed her concern about women's (sexual and) reproductive health after a natural disaster, like flooding.
Unite: We all have to work together to get better laws that guarantee that all women can access safe abortions.
In 2018, 647 women living in the Philippine asked for help from Women on Web. This shows again that the restrictive law does not stop the need for safe abortion access. Everywhere.