Abortion is illegal

Dear Atty. Shalie,

I wish to seek your legal opinion on something that may be a moral issue, especially because of our strong religious inclinations and culture. I am a very young unmarried woman, but now expecting my first child. More than the fear of being a young, unemployed and confused mother and sadly, without the support of my baby’s father now, I am terrified of how I would be able to give birth, support and care for my baby. My baby is found to be physically deformed and probably had other serious illnesses. My baby’s father wants me to undergo abortion procedures and in fact, is already trying to make me do things that may be considered harmful to my pregnancy. I do not know how to cope with these problems. I am also being advised by some concerned friends, who know of my condition, to terminate my pregnancy. I was told that my baby’s health issues will justify my act and that there should not be any criminal liability that could be attributed to me or to those who will help me.



Dear Jasmine,

While questions about your moral and spiritual compass are beyond the subject of my opinion, I would still hope that you would be able to make the right and wise choice and the courage to act on these, even in difficult situation.

As for your legal question, The Revised Penal Code of the Philippines prohibits infanticide and abortion, and states that “any person who shall intentionally cause an abortion” shall be criminally liable if he shall use any violence upon the person of the pregnant woman; or without using violence, he shall act with or without the consent of the woman. Graver penalty attaches to any woman or her parents who shall commit an abortion, more so “for the purpose of concealing her dishonor.” The maximum penalty under the law shall be imposed on any physician or midwife who shall cause an abortion or assist in causing the same.

Our current law is unequivocal. Abortion is illegal in the Philippines. The act of intentional termination of pregnancy is a criminal act, without exception, or regardless of the reasons therefor. No physician, on their own will or volition, is allowed to intentionally terminate your pregnancy even for health reasons of the mother and child.

Atty. Shalie Lazatin-Obinque

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